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Digital media is trouncing traditional channels among up-and-coming Millennials: 81% of affluent Gen-Y adults use Facebook every day—roughly double the number who read newspaper content (45%) or watch TV (44%) daily, according to a new study by L2. Moreover, 45% of such consumers read at least one blog every day.

Gen-Y affluents are 27 years old on average, and they are on a path to earn over $100,000 annually in the short term, and double that income within the next five years, according to the study.

Facebook is fundamental among Gen-Y affluents:

  • Over one-half say their attitudes about brands are shaped by Facebook.
  • 54% have "liked" a brand on Facebook in the previous month.
  • 38% have posted a comment in the previous month.
  • 30% have "shared" brands with their networks in the previous month.

Below, other findings from the L2 study titled Gen Y Affluents, based on a survey of 535 young adults.

Gen-Y affluents are both brand aware and eager to interact: Three-quarters have some affinity for brands, either "following a few good brands" (43%) or getting the "occasional brand crush" (32%); another 12% are self-proclaimed brand "devotees."

Connecting With Brands via Social Media

Women are more likely than men to engage with brands via social media: 80% of female Gen-Y affluents do so, compared with 63% of male Gen-Y affluents. Women are also more likely than men to connect with brands for special offers (38% vs. 28%) and cite brand content as a reason for engaging (15% vs. 10%).

The Blog Generation

Blogs are as popular as newspapers among Gen-Y affluents. Overall, blogs associated with traditional media organizations such as The New York Times and ESPN equally as popular as those focused on a niche interests: 

  • Female Gen-Y favorites include Perez Hilton, Gawker, The Huffington Post, The Sartorialist, Daily Intel, and the Cut.
  • Male Gen-Y favorites include TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Engadget, The Huffington Post, and Gawker.

Microblogging is even more is also pervasive: Two-thirds of Gen-Y affluents use Twitter, with one in four checking their account in the previous 24 hours.


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Newspaper and Magazine Content

Some 66% of Gen-Y affluents consume newspaper content online via desktop or laptop computer. Only 19% still read a traditional print newspaper and 12% access news content via their smartphone/iPod.

When reading magazines, however, 71% of Gen-Y affluents read print, and 24% read digital magazine content via desktop or laptop computer. Fewer Gen-Y affluents access magazine content via smartphone/iPod (2%) or e-reader/iPad (2%).

Daily online video viewing is commonplace among Gen-Y affluents:

  • 56% say they viewed a video via YouTube in the previous 24 hours.
  • 19% viewed a video via Hulu.
  • 21% watched video online—other than on YouTube or Hulu.
  • 13% used a mobile device to watch a video.

In addition, 42% of Gen-Y affluents watch TV shows online and 27% watch movies online.

Other key mobile-related findings:

  • 25% of Gen-Y affluents use their mobile phone to access social media sites.
  • Roughly one-third of Gen-Y affluents own a BlackBerry and slightly more own an iPhone; 71% expect to own an iPhone in the future.
  • Favorite mobile apps: The top 5 apps among female Gen-Y affluents are Facebook, Maps, Pandora, The Weather Channel, and The New York Times. The top 5 apps among men are Facebook, Maps, Pandora, Angry Birds, and Twitter.
  • Apple is the top Prestige Brand among both male and female Gen-Y affluents.

About the data: Findings are based on a October 2010 survey of nearly 1,000 high-achieving and high-earning Gen-Y adults, refined to a panel of 535, age 27 on average. Overall, the sample set is on a trajectory to earn more than $100,000 in the short-term and double that income within the next five years; 75% expect to earn more than $80,000 in the next 24 months.

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