The Generation of Technology
One of the key differences in how consumers in the Millennial generation behave in the field of entertainment compared to previous generations is due to technology. As previously mentioned, Millennials grew up in an Internet fuelled world, where technology was at the key of their upbringing. This has meant that they are dependent on technology, and with that the need for the instantaneous gratification it provides (Simoes, 2008). From this, they expect a wider choice of products and services to choose from, which is facilitated by the efficient distribution provided online (e.g. Amazon Prime). Sweeney (2006) outlines several key characteristics of Millennial Consumer Behaviour which are discussed below.
Millennials expect flexibility from services, which essentially refers to the ability to utilise them where and when they desire. This is a key difference from previous generations, as on demand streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify have made it possible for Millennials to have this convenience, whereas beforehand consumers would have needed to visit a shop to purchase a CD, or go to the cinema to see a film. They are then able to, for example, pause a film or TV series and resume it, whether that be on the train to work a week later. A report by Mintel (2010) found that watching films online is becoming increasingly popular, with 66% of those aged 16-25 in the sample reporting that they regularly stream online. This is possibly since On Demand services remove the task of scheduling and fitting in to the times given by a cinema to watch a certain film, and give the consumer more control over their entertainment choices (Savage, 2013). Moreover, only 30% stated that they purchase physical CD's to have a tangible product, compared to 53% of 45-55 year olds, and 51% of over 55's. This demonstrates how the motivations behind certain purchases differ, as younger generations seem more concerned with the ease and convenience of using on demand services. Another report reported that the laptop and tablet markets were worth £3,270,109 in comparison to the desktop computer valued at £447,744, further highlighting the growing value of portable devices (Mintel, 2015).
Personalisation is also key for this generation to continuously tailor their entertainment needs to the ever-changing tastes and trends. This is facilitated by systems such as Netflix and Spotify, that suggests new content to users based on what they have already watched or listened to, meaning they are more likely to be of interest to them. Millennials in particular are more likely to respond to personalised messages and content as they value brands that make them feel "special", also increasing their loyalty to a product/service (Smith, 2011).
The importance of evaluating alternatives is especially key when discussing reliability. Millennials are likely to be loyal to products and services that they know will deliver what they expect, whenever they wish to use it, which is pivotal in the current competitive market as there are many possible alternatives in the entertainment industry. Due to the technology available to them, they can effectively filter through the options by reading online reviews, or instantly being able to ask their peers. As many as 84% of Millennials have stated that their purchase decisions are generally influenced by "user-generated" content, such as reviews from previous users (Trends Magazine, 2012). This highlights differences from previous generations, as Millennials must weigh up the loss of time and effort in going to the cinema, over simply being able to watch a film instantly in their home.
Millennials are commonly attributed to have highly developed multitasking skills, and using technology can seamlessly switch from one task to another (Brown, 2011). This does mean, however, that they can be impatient if they experience interruptions in this due to their expectations of instantaneous results. Sweeney (2006) highlights here that Millennials almost never message someone without carrying out a task alongside. This reaffirms the tendency for these consumers to prefer streaming movies at home while carrying out daily tasks and messaging friends, over dedicating time solely to going to the cinema to watch a film.