How Millennials Consume Content (and What They're Willing to Pay For)

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Between Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y (Millennials), there are more intergenerational workers in the workforce and customers for business content at one time than ever before. But the content consumption habits of Millennials are turning the industry upside down. How do you reach a generation with endless choices and ingrained belief that content should be free?  

At Connectiv/SIIA’s Buying & Selling Content 2016 Conference on Jan. 27 in New York, Jeff Sondeman, deputy director of American Press Institute, and Chris Altechek, CEO and founder of, a fast-growing news site that caters specifically to millennials, will go to head-to-head on whether millennial aversion to paying for content is real and where that leaves the information industry.    

 Sonderman will unveil exclusive API research on millennial content consumption in both B2C and B2B, including,

*Millennials do pay for content. 87% of millennials personally pay for some type of subscription or other paid media service. The most popular paid content is movies and television, or music. But 40% of Millennials do pay for at least one news-specific service. 

*Millennials do pay attention. 85% told API that keeping up with the news is important to them, and 45% regularly follow five or more "hard news" topics. Virtually everyone's information diet in this generation involves a mix of hard news, soft news and more practical or news-you-can-use topics. 

*Social networks play a preeminent role in millennials' news acquisition. Facebook ranked as the No. 1 or No. 2 gateway for 20 out of 24 news topics. Although millennials have some concerns about social media usage, and Facebook isn't as "cool" as it used to be, most are still using it heavily.  

*And finally, it's important to remember that not all millennials are the same. Across a 20-year generation, there are differences between older and younger, and different attitudes and personalities. API has broken down four distinct subsets of the generation, each behaving differently. 

Buying & Selling Content 2016 features top executives from The New York Times, Bloomberg, LinkedIn, Gannett and more sharing insights and best practices on the changing business of selling premium content, from getting readers to pay in the mobile economy to breaking into foreign markets with content licensing to the rise of “mediadata” companies that look to sell data supported by content.  Check out the full agenda here. Early bird rates expire Dec. 31, so register today.    

Matt Matt Kinsman is vice president of content + programming at Connectiv, the only association focused on the integrated b-to-b model—including publications, events, digital media, marketing services and business information. Prior to joining Connectiv's predecessor American Business Media in 2011, Kinsman was executive editor of Folio:, the leading information provider for the magazine industry.