Millennials: All about mobile, but still tuned into TV

The MTM's latest study shows an at-times distinct divide between Gen Y and Gen Z.

Millennials. They’re increasingly political and vocal. They’re known for killing industries left and right. And now the Media Technology Monitor (MTM) is revealing even more nuances about the cohort – especially as it relates to media.

The company’s latest report is part of an ongoing study of various generations and their lifestyles as they relate to tech and media consumption. More than 4,000 Millennial respondents were surveyed digitally.

Millennials make up 33% of the country’s population – and of that, 18% belong to Gen Y (age 29 to 37) and 15% to Gen Z (18 to 28).

Gen Y are significantly more likely to have graduated university than older Canadians (56% hold a degree, compared to 47% of older Anglophones). While Gen Z only boasts a rate of 41% for holding degrees, this is largely because many within the demo aren’t old enough to hold a degree. Both Gen Y and Gen Z are less likely to live alone (11% for Gen Z, 15% for Gen Y and 26% for older Canadians). Gen Y most commonly lives in households of two or more adults (62%) and Gen Z in houses of three adults or more (50%).

Currently, 41% of Gen Y have children under 12 at home, compared to 16% of older Canadians (only 9% have teens at home).

While Gen Z is most likely to have household incomes of less than $75,000 per year (42%, compared to 33% of Gen Y and 36% of older respondents), Gen Y boasts the highest rate of incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 (35%, versus 23% of Gen Z and 27% of older Canadians).

Millennials and their devices

Most Millennials (91% of Gen Z, 93% of Gen Y) own smartphones, compared to 75% of older respondents. Nearly half of Millennials own an iPhone, making it the most popular brand. Gen Z is less likely than older generations to own tablets – 48% report owning one, compared to 63% of Gen Y and 59% of older Canadians.

Most of Gen Z (95%) and Gen Y (91%) own a physical computer (compared to 87% of older Canadians).

Gen Z is most likely to own a smart speaker (13%), while Gen Y edges out Gen Z and older generations in wearables (29%). More than three-quarters of Gen Z owns a gaming console, and nearly one-third have tried VR (although only 7% own a headset).

What Millennials are consuming

While Millennials are less likely than older Canadians to have a traditional TV subscription, both subsets still boast a rate of more than half (52% of Gen Z and 54% of Gen Y).

Social media usage tracks slightly higher for Gen Z (89%) than Gen Y (86%), although Gen Y is more likely to use Facebook (92% versus 85%). Gen Z favours Instagram and Snapchat, with the latter showing a significant spread (60% for Gen Z, 32% for Gen Y). Gen Z spends an average of 36 hours per week online (Gen Y spends 31 hours, while older Canadians spend an average of 19.4).

Gen Y watches nearly twice as much TV (six hours per week) as Gen Z (3.8 hours per week). Gen Z also spends nearly twice as much time watching online TV (six hours) as they do traditional TV, whereas Gen Y’s time spent with traditional and online TV is nearly equal.