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NYC TV Week: What Do Millennials Want? Authenticity, Discovery, Community and More

New York — Four television industry executives converged at The Content Show Wednesday to try to answer one of the most pressing questions in the business: What do millennials want?

The answers, not surprisingly, are varied, but one commonality was authenticity.

“What’s interesting to us about the millennial audience is they don’t consume content programmed directly for them because someone says it is; they are an audience interested in discovery and word of mouth,” said Yale Wang, head of marketing at Asian drama video streaming website DramaFever, 

He added that millennials are a multicultural audience who identify with other cultures and values.

It is also important, Wang said, to create content that drives a passion and creates fans.

Jill King, senior VP, marketing and partnerships Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, concurred. “We don’t have viewers, we have fans, hard core fans,” she said.

Adult Swim, she said, develops content intended to surprise and delight their audience. “We have to be everywhere they are,” she said. “We take a very anti-marketing approach.”

Different marketing angles was a common theme. Kent Rees, general manager of Pivot, said that during show launches, Pivot puts the first episode everywhere. “That experiences of sampling content is way better than anything we do promotionally,” he said. “It’s part of our core strategy and would not be possible without social media.”

Endemol Beyond USA puts YouTube stars into its programs, knowing how significant those influencers are when it comes to conversing and engaging with their fanbase. “We cast them into formats we know are going to resonate, going to pop and be relevant,” said Jenn Mancini, VP, East Coast sales.

Millennials have a plethora of options and choices when it comes to content, a result of the demo “reaping the benefits of changes in technology,” Rees said. He recommends bringing a sense of community to content to attract the demo.

As for how millennials' viewing habits will affect the industry in the future, Mancini was frank, predicting that TV will be all on-demand.