Share.Like.Buy. 2016: Comedy Central CMO Shares His Take on Changing Millennial Media Habits

Posted by: Kari Porter

There is no denying that the TV and media industry has had to adapt to major market shifts in a big way in recent years. Although a majority of millennials still view TV traditionally (more than 70 percent), they are using non-traditional methods more than any other generation. Over 40 percent of millennials said they view content on their computer through streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix. With more millennial consumers viewing content on computers and mobile devices, media brands have to find a way to make their content available beyond the push of a button and instead at the swipe of a fingertip.

Media brands are also adapting their traditional content to fit in smaller segments on platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. Whether they have their own branded “Discover” section on Snapchat or a personalized Instagram full of short clips and pictures, companies are taking to mobile platforms to serve their consumers. Comedy Central is amongst the brands going mobile. With its own channel on Snapchat and multiple social media accounts with customized and shareable content, the company is engaging millennial consumers on a daily basis.

Walter Levitt, Chief Marketing Officer of Comedy Central, oversees strategic and creative brand development, advertising and promotion, and social and digital marketing for the company. He is known in the industry for his leadership in Comedy Central’s innovative multi-platform approach to marketing and branding and this November he will be speaking at our annual Share.Like.Buy Conference in Austin, TX.

Levitt is no stranger to the changes taking place in the industry and has insight on what these changes mean for media as a whole.

“It is no secret that consumption of TV content is changing rapidly,” said Levitt. “In the last two years, we have seen that although TV is still the primary place where viewers consume content, they also view it in other places such as on our app, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and many more. We have found that platforms like Snapchat are great consumption platforms, as well.”

Making content available where millennials are, is a key driver of brand love. By adjusting their content to fit each platform, brands can cater to consumers and keep them coming back for more. As consumers’ needs evolve, the media industry will continue to adapt along with them.

For brands in the media market, it is important to consider these three key drivers of millennial love:

1. Media innovation

Media consumption has rapidly transitioned from TV sets to include online and mobile formats, as well. Media consumption on social platforms is also gaining popularity, which is no surprise considering 71 percent of millennials engage in social media each day. Not only are they using social media, but they expect brands to use it, as well. They want to know that the content they love is with them at all times and brands are adapting their content to the platforms consumers use most often.

“We provide new digital and social content every day to meet our fans’ needs. We are now able to connect with the consumer literally in the palm of their hands. Consumers now have so many ways to connect with their favorite brands, and the media industry is embracing innovation and new platforms to serve the consumer,” said Levitt.

2. Mobile programming

Millennials check their phone an average of 43 times a day. If you’re keeping track, that means that they are on their phones almost once every 30 minutes. Mobile consumption has changed marketing, and a huge part of what Comedy Central does is mobile friendly marketing for specific platforms, according to Levitt.

Levitt explained that at Comedy Central, mobile is a major factor of consumer engagement. “Mobile consumption is obviously a huge part of millennials’ lives. I think platforms like Snapchat, which can only be viewed on mobile devices, are forcing media companies to change the way we create our content and marketing,” said Levitt.

“We also know that Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are largely viewed on mobile devices. As an industry, mobile consumption is obviously very much top of mind.”

3. Keep evolution top of mind

All of our research has pointed to the fact that the media market is changing. Gen Z consumers watch 13.2 hours of traditional TV content a week, significantly less than boomers and gen X. That’s not to say that “TV” as a medium is dying, it’s just evolving.

Nobody has a crystal ball and can say definitively how behaviors will be for this generation. It is clear that gen Z has had mobile devices from a very young age and consider them to be major media consumption platforms. Whether they will continue to think that, or will do what many people do and continue to use their mobile device when they are on the go and default to larger screen at home, is hard to say.

“It will be an interesting evolution to see how this generation will combine usage of mobile devices and other screens, and where they will ultimately choose to view content,” said Levitt.

To hear more about the great that Walter Levitt is doing with Comedy Central, be sure to register for Share.Like.Buy on November 9-10 now!

CLICK HERE to learn more about Share.Like.Buy.

About Kari Porter

Kari is the intern at FutureCast and is excited to further explore and expand her knowledge about millennial trends, as she helps to write content for, Forbes and Business Journals. With a focus in...See Kari's full bio.