Villing & Company

Media Consumption: For the Times They Are A-Changin’

As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'

OK, Boomer. Yes, I am quoting the rant of another Boomer, the great Bob Dylan, to make a point about how media consumption habits are indeed a-changin’.

As evidence I will share with you the conversations about media usage that I’ve had with my marketing class at Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business. My class consists of mostly juniors and seniors and we have had several discussions about where they go for their news, sports, music and entertainment. From a trending perspective, their answers were not particularly surprising. What was shocking, however, was the virtual unanimity of their responses. The plain truth is that very few of them use any kind of traditional media. Their news and sports come through the Internet, often driven by favored websites or social media posts. Music and entertainment are accessed through various streaming services.

The latter makes abundant sense because access to streaming services does allow for much greater personal control over content, often without intrusive advertising and other distractions.  But as a Boomer who has long been an avid consumer of traditional media, I can only lament the inherent limitations of Internet delivered news and sports content. There is a serendipitous aspect to finding good content on-line. And many articles, podcasts and videos are driven by the conventional wisdom that today’s consumers have the attention span of a goldfish. As a result, this content is often dumbed down to the point of lacking the real depth and substance of a carefully crafted newspaper or magazine article.

But I digress. 

The real point of this column is that as marketers we have to accept the new reality of media consumption. Frankly, young consumers are just not into our old-world media marketing conventions. To be sure, content is still king. But the ways we deliver it to the next generation of adult consumers must be a-changin’. So, as marketers, we’d better admit that the waters around us have grown and we better start swimmin' or we'll sink like a stone.

For the times they are a-changin'

Filed Under: ADS, BRANDING

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