At MTV, we always keep our finger on the pulse of youth, and we wanted to add some more local qualitative colour to the global Knowing Youth and The Next Normal findings. So in late 2012, MTV Australia embarked on a project to explore Australian millenials’ lives and entertainment content consumption. We conducted eight focus groups in three different locations throughout the country, speaking to 64 people about these subjects and also gage how they feel about MTV.

Here are some of our main findings:

Millennials in Australia are not that different from the rest of the world:

  • They are highly optimistic, feel they can do ‘anything’, have traditional dreams and their parents’ mantra has been to boost self-esteem.
  • As a generation, Millennials are empowered – and they are very aware of that power.
  • Not innovating is stagnating, and we like to get ahead by ‘gaming’ the system

There are a number of common threads with regards to TV:

  • Millennials are not bound by programmers – they are in charge. It’s the culture of immediacy and flexibility.
  • Despite fragmentation, they continue to search for communal experiences – those water cooler occasions. Among others, big events help to deliver on that desire.
  • Multi-platform viewing and multi-tasking is paramount – doing just one thing at a time is plain boring.
  • Social media is a companion, it keeps the conversation alive and also delivers kudos to those who find things first (see also the international Comedy Across Borders piece).

TV viewing needs to suit their mood:

  • Morning pick up and evening wind down, Chill-out, Community feeling, Shared viewing with family and friends, Excitement of big events and awards shows, and Creating community were just some of the key workds that came up.

They also had a number of thoughts on TV content:

  • Learning-To-Live: mirroring my life, show how others managed, flawed characters, relatable issues.
  • My Life With A Multiplier Effect: exaggerated life truth, taking it to the extreme.
  • No Sacred Cows: pushing boundaries of good taste.
  • Mood Media: media as company, music in background, talking point in group, reflect or changes mood.
  • Breaking The Rules: doing things differently.

One of the other key learning from our groups was the value of nostalgia – shows and content that remind them of a particular time in their life.  No longer is it shameful or embarrassing to have a different taste in shows from your peers – now it is celebrated.

Kirsty Bloore, Research Director at VIMN Australia