84 per cent of Millennials are smart – or at least attached to smartphones

Well that was quick. It’s less than eight years since Apple launched the iPhone and ushered in the smartphone era (sorry Blackberry). Now, according to Global Web Index, more than 80 per cent of 17 to 31 year olds around the world own a smartphone.

Of course it’s not really that high since the research company probably avoided those parts of the world where fresh water is a more pressing concern, but lets agree that 84 per cent of young people with something that looks a bit like disposable income and poor taste in music have a phone with a GUI and a connection to the internet.

Blame it on social media (and Google and Apple). According to GWI, “The success that Instagram and other photo-based networks have had on mobile is reflected in the number of Millennials who are uploading photos online using their smartphone – 46 per cent do each month.”

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(Image source: GlobalWebIndex)

The site also notes that video has found a natural home on the phone. “Almost half of Millennials watch them on a monthly basis. YouTube is gaining much of this traffic, having grown its mobile audience significantly over the last few years.”

The figures are contained in the latest GWI report called “Audience Report on Millennials” which reveals that globally, Millennials represent the largest share of internet users aged 16-64. “This trend is even more pronounced within fast-growth markets, where internet penetration rates typically remain modest and online populations are thus skewed towards the younger age group.”

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(Image source: GlobalWebIndex)

Among the other findings;

  • Last month, 8 in 10 Millennials watched a video clip and half watched a vlog. YouTube gained much of this traffic – two thirds visited within the last 30 days.
  • Millennials are leading the shift to digital, watching more than an hour of online TV per day. 6 in 10 viewed TVoD last month, while two thirds played an online game and 63 per cent streamed music.
  • Although this group is the most likely to pay for online content, rates remain low; 1 in 4 bought an app, music download or e-book last month. The appeal of free content–like free(mium) games or ad-based streaming – is an important factor here.
  • Netflix is dominating the VoD market – one fifth watch it monthly. The widespread use of VPNs means that Millennials around the world can access geo-restricted entertainment content from different markets.
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