Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, May 3, 2018
Millennials have been getting a bad rap lately, with pundits suggesting that they’re squandering their financial futures on avocado toast or cold brew. While our TUP study doesn’t track café treats, we’re finding robust spending on technology devices and services by millennials. Among millennials, homeowners outspend their home-renting counterparts by far.
Based on our most recent wave of TUP/Technology User Profile 2017 US – millennial homeowners are far more likely than millennial renters to be using an Apple Watch or Google Wear smartwatch. Furthermore, they’re well above all other groups in using tech devices they don’t own – such as an employer-provided mobile phone, e-book reader, or tablet. They stand out for having their nest feathered by entertainment devices such as home projectors and OTT TV devices such as an Amazon Fire TV or Google TV. Also, these digital feathernesters are more likely than average to be protecting their homes with smart locks and video doorbells.
Differences in tech usage by home ownership status are not only about age since Generation X homeowners are also well above GenX renters. Interestingly, the mix of devices used by GenX homeowners is like those used by Millennial homeowners, although at lower levels.
Millennial homeowners are a substantial market segment, making up nearly one in four connected adults. This group is only slightly larger than the 20% which are GenX homeowners and 22% which are boomer homeowners. Renters are the smallest share of connected adults in every age group. Among millennials, a higher share is renters than the rate in other age groups, although homeowners still outnumber renters by nearly two to one.
Millennial feathernesters have impressive plans, with their tech purchase intentions higher than any other age or home ownership group. Their plans which are strongly higher than the plans of other age and home ownership groups span nearly all types of devices: notebooks, tablets, and smartphones.
Home ownership status is less of a factor among GenX. Unlike the pattern among current tech users, GenX homeowners don’t have substantially stronger plans than do GenX renters. And among Baby Boomers, the pattern is slightly reversed. For many tech products, especially the most-mobile devices, a higher share of Boomer renters plan to purchase notebooks, tablets, smartphones, and desktop PCs than do Boomer homeowners.
For decades, MetaFacts has focused on research technology usage and adoption, and segmented users by a wide variety of sociodemographic and behavioral factors. This helps us support our wide variety of clients, some of who use different segmentation and analysis approaches that change over time. While many of our clients employ proprietary segmentation approaches, others seek to analyze the market using more publicly-available or convenient standards.
Analysis by age is one widely-used view, and often a productive starting point for deeper analysis. In some cases, age is a key component of the life stage, reflecting passages such as adulthood or retirement. In other cases, the birth year is used to identify a generational group. Segmentation approaches seek to identify groupings of people who as similar to each other as they are different from members of other groups.
For the analysis in this TUPdate, MetaFacts categorized online adults into the following age groups:
- Millennial adult (born 1981-1999, age 18-36)
- Generation X (born 1965-1980, age 37-52)
- Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964, age 53-71)
- Silent+Greatest Generation (born 1945 and before, age 72+)
In our standard TUP analysis, we often split Millennials and GenX into younger and older groups, since much of the technology adoption varies within each of these groups.
MetaFacts continues to conduct custom analyses of the groupings that are the most useful concerning their use and adoption of technology, as well as concerning broader sociodemographic and behavioral analysis.
We’re also monitoring the ongoing discussion among the research community around the possible name of the next generation following Millennials. In January 2018, a New York Times reader request turned up suggestions such as “memelords”, “iGeneration”, “deltas”, or “Generation Z or GenZ”.
TUPdates feature analysis of current or essential technology topics. The research results showcase the TUP/Technology User Profile study, MetaFacts’ survey of a representative sample of online adults profiling the full market’s use of technology products and services. The current wave of TUP is TUP/Technology User Profile 2020, which is TUP’s 38th annual. TUPdates may also include results from previous waves of TUP.
Current subscribers may use the comprehensive TUP datasets to obtain even more results or tailor these results to fit their chosen segments, services, or products. As subscribers choose, they may use the TUP inquiry service, online interactive tools, or analysis previously published by MetaFacts.
On request, interested research professionals can receive complimentary updates through our periodic newsletter. These include MetaFAQs – brief answers to frequently asked questions about technology users – or TUPdates – analysis of current and essential technology industry topics. To subscribe, contact MetaFacts.