Millennials seek local and purpose-driven content on TV and OTT

MUMBAI: Seventy-one per cent of youth in our country are inspired by content. The number has moved from 58.4 per cent in 2016 to 71 per cent in 2018, revealed a new study by MTV Insights Studios ‘Mera Bharat Amazeballs’. Millennials are digital natives and they seek content beyond the confines of traditional TV. So what kind of content do they like? Which are the platforms they prefer to consume content and how is it helping the youth to overcome the challenges in their lives?

Whether its Bhuvan Bam’s roleplay, Ashish Chanchlani’s gyan or Jose Covaco’s parenting on social media platforms, or the rise of thoughtful entertainment like Pad Man, Toilet, Dangal, Mary Kom and other movies or even dozens of stand-up comedy specials available on different platforms, there is an upsurge of local/Indian digital content being consumed by the youth. The report informed that there is more diversity than ever within digital content.

The study revealed some interesting numbers, read below

Why youth watch what they watch: 52 per cent of millennials watch content to learn something new; 30 per cent watch to distress and refresh themselves and 27 per cent watch content to help them to get through their life’s problem.

What drives them towards new piece on content: 35 per cent of youth choose content based on the uniqueness of concept; 18 per cent like entertaining content; 14 per cent choose content based on the relatability of story; 10 per cent prefer content on ease of understanding story; seven per cent pick stories because of credibility and narrative and three per cent choose emotional narrative.

What really gets them: As per the report 75 per cent of youth like stories where people struggle to win; 71 per cent of youth prefer stories based on real life people; and 62 per cent youth prefer watching real stories.

What do they do when they discover a new show: 37 per cent of youth discusses it with friends whereas 21 per cent binge-watch the show. 20 per cent check out trivia about the show; 14 per cent try to find more similar shows; five per cent discuss with family and three per cent talk about it on social media.

Where do they discover new content: 26 per cent youth discover new show on the internet and watch it online or download it to watch later; 24 per cent of them discover a new on TV and only watch in on TV; 24 per cent of youth discover new show on the internet and then find out when and where it comes on TV and watch it there; and 21 per cent discover new show on TV but they go online to watch it.

Millennials' most preferred genre of shows: 30 per cent of youth like comedy; 13 per cent prefer romance; 12 per cent like family shows; 10 per cent looks for fantasy shows; eight per cent like action genre; seven per cent like documentary; seven per cent like crime genre; four per cent like historical genre; four per cent prefer music and dance genre; three per cent prefer Quiz shows and two per cent like animation.

Where do they watch their favourite shows: 37 per cent of youth watch shows on both the platform but more on online than TV; 26 per cent watch shows only online; 20 per cent watch shows only on TV; and 14 per cent of youth watch shows on both but more on TV than online.

Preferred device and platform: 75 per cent of millennials prefer watching shows at home on TV; 55 per cent of youth watches content on laptop; 41 per cent prefer streaming platform and 39 per cent opt for theatre.

How MTV uses this study

MTV Insights Studios has been doing this study since 2002 once in every two years to understand its target audience and cater tothem with better content. “Doing the study and sharing the facts with marketers have given them positive affinity that we know youth better than anybody else. That's one primary reason for us to do that from the external perspective. From internal it also helps form our choice of both new shows, tweak existing shows and even brand marketing,” says Viacom18 youth, music and english entertainment marketing head Navin Shenoy.  

This year the channel will be tweaking its flagship show Roadies’ theme. The study revealed that the youth are purpose-driven, they want to get behind the cause and they are action-oriented. Therefore, this year Roadies’ theme is called Roadies Revolution, which means the contestant will not only be doing normal physical challenges, but there are also causes behind which they'll get and they'll have to perform actions to support that cause and showcase the impact.

Last year, one of the insights that people felt more about was plastic pollution. “So we took up this issue and on the day of Dussera we called upon a message which was ‘Plastic is the new Raavan’ with TrashAsur. And what activities like these do is they reinforce brand affinity in the consumers’ mind, they realise that this brand understands what causes matter to them and they are actually taking action in that space. So in a nutshell, that's how it works for both existing shows, choosing new shows and for brand marketing; these insights inform most of our decision,” said Shenoy.

This year one big theme that has emerged is women empowerment. He opines, “I think every aspect of that space seems to be something that bothers young people, and hence it equally bothers us, which is whether it's the brutal crimes against women or the fact that they are not getting enough of opportunities, or that society, in its thinking is more likely to be patriarchal, and gender stereotypes being enforced on women. There is very little positivity on how the system is structured, so that's likely to be a space we would want to explore.”

The channel has doubled its viewership compared to last year. He informs, “A flagship show for us like Hustle has been key to the strategy of pulling more viewers, because it has pulled in both time from an existing viewer who's had a new MTV show and also a new kind of viewer whose destiny is hip hop music but may not have consumed so much of MTV’s other shows in the past. So that pretty much has been the key. And now the challenge is to keep the momentum going in season two.” 

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