Millennial Trends

NEW YORK — Millennial parents, like everyone in their generation, are enthusiastic consumers of social media and adept multitaskers. However, when it comes to education and entertainment, there’s an even more important friend for these families: television.

That’s the surprising big picture emerging from proprietary research commissioned by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE) and presented to the consortium of the nation’s leading family advertisers this week. Among the key findings: Millennials are especially likely to say TV helps them be better parents and three-quarters of Millennial parents state TV can be used as a learning tool for children.

The findings about Millennial parents’ households were shared with AFE members in a webinar that incorporated findings from two May 2014 research projects undertaken by Penn Schoen Berland on behalf of the AFE to discover insights into the American family’s entertainment habits and practices as well as their programming preferences. It found that Millennial parents are more likely than general-population (GP) parents to say watching TV together (15 percent, compared with 11 percent of parents overall) is their favorite thing to do together as a family.

In addition, 34 percent of Millennial parents say it’s most important that shows they watch with family educate, compared with 27 percent of parents in the general population. Forty-eight percent of Millennial parents say a positive benefit of TV is their children can learn something new and educational, compared with 51 percent of GP parents.

Millennial dads and moms are still digital natives, however, and just under 8 in 10 are familiar with YouTube family channels versus only 62 percent of all parents. More than 6 out of 10 Millennial parents familiar with YouTube’s family content (63 percent) have watched those channels.

“Millennials are being researched more than perhaps any other consumer group today, but there is little research that provides insights into Millennial parents, a group that already totals more than 10 million households and is growing explosively,” said Walmart Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and ANA and AFE Chairman Stephen Quinn. “This new research clearly shows how vital Millennial parents are to family brand advertisers and the powerful role television continues to play in the American family story.”

Other key Millennial parents findings:

Attitudes Towards TV

  • Thirty-five percent of Millennial parents say they get to spend quality time with children while watching TV.
  • Just under 4 in 10 (39 percent) say TV helps families learn about other things and other places (compared with 36 percent of GP parents).
  • Thirty-nine percent also say TV provides new and unique ways for children to learn (compared with 34 percent of total parents).
  • Millennial parents are more likely than parents overall to say watching TV together is their favorite thing to do as a family (15 percent, compared with 11 percent of GP parents).

TV and Their Children

  • Fifty percent of Millennial parents say their children only use devices with parents present, compared with 39 percent of GP parents.
  • Millennial parents say their children use TV 10 hours per week versus 11 hours for total parents overall.
  • Thirty-four percent of parents from age 18 to 34 say that a show that educates is the most-important factor in a show to watch with family.
  • Twenty-nine percent said that entertainment was the most-important factor.

Social Media, TV, and Their Children

  • Eighty-one percent of Millennial parents use a mobile device when interacting with their children versus 69 percent of all parents.
  • Forty-two percent of Millennial parents get information about companies, brands, or retailers via social media compared with 30 percent of all parents.
  • Thirty-one percent of Millennial parents who use social media have shared a positive experience about a company or product on social media versus 25 percent of all parents.
  • Half of parents from age 18 to 34 say that their children use mobile devices in the home only when a parent is present, compared with 39 percent of all parents.

About the ANA and AFE

Association of National Advertisers (ANA)

The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) provides leadership that advances marketing excellence and shapes the future of the industry. Founded in 1910, ANA’s membership includes more than 600 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing and advertising. The ANA pursues “collaborative mastery” that advances the interests of marketers and promotes and protects the well-being of the marketing community. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter, or join us on Facebook.

ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE)

The AFE (ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment) is a coalition of national advertisers with family brands, supported by the ANA, which represents almost 40 percent of all U.S. television advertising dollars. With members including American Licorice Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Crayola, Kellogg Co., J. M. Smucker’s, IBM, PepsiCo, Post Foods, Procter & Gamble Co., SC Johnson, Sensio, Six Flags, State Farm Insurance, Subway, Unilever, Verizon Wireless, Wendy’s and Walmart, the group’s mission is to find, nurture and support high-quality content the entire family can enjoy on multiple distribution platforms. Since its inception in 1998, the AFE has utilized its collective member strength to bring to air more than 20 prime-time broadcast network television hits, keep innovative family content in the development pipeline, team with YouTube for the industry’s first family content partnership, and create the “Search for America’s Newest Scriptwriter” contest, the nation’s only competition for non-union storytellers.


Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
Patty Kerr, 310-344-4487