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Deloitte Says Millennials Will Spend $62 Billion on Media in 2015

Millennials will spend a surprising sum on media this year.


Everybody knows the under-35 crowd are less avid consumers of traditional media than their parents.

Yet a new forecast from Deloitte predicts that North America’s 83 million 18- to 34-year-old millennials will drop substantial sums on media consumption this year: roughly $62 billion. That’s an average spend of $750 per person in the U.S. and Canada.

Pay TV is a surprisingly large part of the equation, accounting for almost half of that spending.

Deloitte estimates that 70 percent of millennials live away from their parents’ homes — and eight out of 10 will pay a monthly fee for television in 2015. So much for all the discussions about “cord nevers,” a group who opt never to pay for a cable or satellite TV subscription. According to the firm’s projections, four-fifths of millennials will spend an average of $80 a month on pay TV packages.

Video streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime will likely add another $40 per year on average in 2015.

Millennials aren’t exactly amassing CD collections, but the under-35 crowd is still spending a big part of their media budgets on music. Concerts are a major draw — with 80 percent likely to attend a live event in the coming year, and spend about $100, Deloitte projects.

Music downloads and streaming services will add about $25 a year in spending, on average, the firm projects. Not surprisingly, this demographic accounts for a significant portion of streaming service subscribers.

Millennials will plunk down about $100 this year on video games this year — with two-thirds of people ages 16 to 34 describing themselves as “regular” or “avid” gamers.

Deloitte Projections of Millennial Media Spend For 2015

Despite declining attendance, the movie theater still holds appeal for this group, particularly the youngest millennials, the 18-to 24-year-olds, who represent just 10 percent of the population, but will account for a fifth of box office spending in the U.S. and Canada. Overall, millennials will see nearly seven films a year and spend a premium ($12) to go to the cineplex on Friday or Saturday nights.

A couple of other counterintuitive findings: print newspapers are not dead among this demographic. Deloitte projects that one-sixth of U.S. millennials — or about 12 million people — are likely to subscribe to newspapers in 2015. This group will read five books this year (digital and print versions), spending about $60 per person.

While less devoted to major league sports than older generations, 86 percent of millennials watch live sporting events on TV. And this group will likely spend $25 to attend a game.

By far the biggest investment for this group is the amount they spend on the equipment and high-speed Internet access required to access media. Deloitte estimates the typical millennial — someone who owns a new smartphone, replaces his or her computer and tablet every four years and buys a game console every five years — will spend roughly $3,000 a year on hardware and connectivity.

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