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Millennials and Generation Z Lead the Future of Media

3 minute read | Tony Boyte, Research Director, Nielsen NZ | March 2016


The 3.1 million New Zealanders aged 15+ now accessing the Internet are spending a total of two working days online each week. The first New Zealand Connected Consumers Report shows us that the home is the most common place for online access, however more and more New Zealanders are accessing the Internet while out and about.

It isn’t surprising to find that Millennials and Generation Z are leading this trend, with 15 to 34 year olds spending 35% more time going online on their phone than other groups. Our ‘connected generations’ or ‘digital natives’ are exhibiting a comfortable, dynamic relationship with devices that highlights the importance for marketers to understand these behaviours to get their marketing mix just right.

Millennials and Generation Z are trend setters – they are early adopters of new services and have set trends with the adoption of new arrivals such as Spotify (launched 2012) and Netflix (March 2015). Internet TV is a key trend being driven by younger New Zealanders, with the 15 – 24 year old age group leading the country. 42% of this group have watched shows on YouTube in the past month, while 23% have watched Netflix, ten percentage points higher than the rest of the population.  Likewise, almost a third (32%) of 25 – 34 year olds watched TVNZ OnDemand in the past month, more than all other age groups.

Social media is a dominant part of young people’s lives today and should be an imperative part of any youth-focused marketing campaign. What is most interesting about the report findings is what they’re doing on these platforms. It’s encouraging to see that over a quarter (26%) of 15 – 24 year olds and just under a quarter (22%) of 25 – 34 year olds are interacting with organisations or companies.  Both groups are interacting daily with organisations on social media up much more than the rest of the population (16%).

The ‘connected generations’ are also more receptive towards digital advertising formats than older age groups. They are more likely to recall all types of digital advertising and more likely to take action using a mobile device following exposure to an ad or product. Over half recall banner ads on their mobile phones, while close to half can recall video ads on mobile phones and ads within mobile apps (in the last week).

This report shows that consumers are increasingly attached to the convenience of mobile devices for accessing digital content – indeed, we are coming to expect access at all times of the day on every corner of the earth. This constant connection to the Internet provides marketers with increasing opportunities to engage their audience, employing ‘right place, right time, right-screen’ tactics across a broader range of marketing environments. It also highlights the importance of creating content that is easy to find, easy to share and easy to digest – particularly for the ‘digital natives’ generation whose savvy will only increase.


The Nielsen New Zealand Connected Consumers Report is a one-of-a-kind industry tool to guide your business’ marketing and media strategy in alignment with today’s connected consumers. The comprehensive insights and data sets provide your business with a unique ability to identify core audience segments and deep-dive into their device and cross-platform content consumption and influences, and the way they interact with brands – so you can capture and maximise the opportunities of this increasingly connected consumer.

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