Millennials tend to get lumped into a big group when it comes to hand-wringing about their news consumption habits. But (shocker) defining the entire group of people born between 1980 and 1998 as a “monolithic group that doesn’t change with age and different circumstances” doesn’t really make sense, according to a new report from the Media Insight Project.
The report, out Friday, is a collaboration between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute. The researchers found that “millennials’ news and Internet habits fall into four distinct types.”
Here are the essential characteristics of each of the four groups, as the report defines them:
— Ages 18–24, they “get their news and information mostly by just bumping into it.”
— Less than a third (31 percent) pay for a news subscription; 17 percent use a news subscription paid for by someone else.
— They “go online primarily for entertainment activities such as playing games or streaming music and movies.”
— Also ages 18–24, but they “actively seek out news and information.”
— Forty-four percent pay for a news subscription; 17 percent use a news subscription paid for by someone else.
— They “are interested in news and are more active in pursuing it online.”
— They are older, ages 25–34, “have begun to have families and are part of the middle class.”
— Forty percent pay for a news subscription; 12 percent use a news subscription paid for by someone else.
— They’re unlikely to “actively seek out” news and information online, but they do “follow a variety of lifestyle and news-you-can-use topics that show direct relevance to their jobs, their families, or solving problems in their personal lives.”
— They are also older, ages 25–34, but more likely than “The Distracted” to “actively seek out news and information.”
— Fifty-one percent pay for a news subscription; seven percent use a news subscription paid for by someone else.
— They are “the only group that is a majority non-white.”
Some of this seems a little obvious — divide the Millennial generation in half by age; in each half, some are interested in online news and some aren’t — but it’s interesting to see who pays for news and who is still relying on someone else’s subscription (probably a parent’s) for it.
The researchers surveyed 1,045 adults between the ages of 18 and 34. The full report is here.