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Millennial Men Keep Their Digital Lives Humming

Mobile gets extra attention from millennial men

Millennial males in the US have earned a reputation as laggards. But that’s not how today’s young men regard themselves, according to a new eMarketer report, “Taking the Measure of Millennial Men: As Sort-of-Grownups, as Digital Users, as Consumers.”

Currently earning more on average than their female counterparts, they are generally happier with their careers than women their age. And amid much talk about struggles with the breakdown of traditional gender roles, plenty of millennial men seem happy to encroach on once-female precincts like cooking and fashion. Moreover, digital knowhow is important to young men. Gluttons for entertainment, young men consume much of it in digital form. And they also deploy digital technologies as shoppers, capitalizing on the convenience they offer. Indeed, digital proficiency is a trait by which many define themselves.

Along with young women, young men are in the vanguard of mobile and social adoption. Young men are far more likely than adults in general to have a smartphone, though a shade less likely than young women. eMarketer estimates that by the end of this year, seven in 10 US men ages 18 to 34 will be smartphone users.

Mere penetration numbers, however, don’t express the degree to which young men (and young women) have integrated smartphone usage into their lives. February 2013 polling by Ipsos MediaCT and TNS Infratest on behalf of Google found that during the seven days before being queried, 67% of 18- to 24-year-old males and 56% of 25- to 34-year-old males accessed a social network; those same age groups also browsed the internet (78% and 68%, respectively) and searched for restaurants and bars (39% and 30%).

True to stereotype, today’s young men were twice as likely as young women (42% vs. 21%) to cite playing computer games among their frequent free-time activities in a February 2013 Urban Land Institute/ULI Foundation survey. And for digital video too, young men (and young women) in the US overindex as well. In the Google polling of US smartphone owners, 35% of 18- to 24-year-old men and 40% of women in that same age group said they watched video on their smartphone daily. In the 25-to-34 group, the figure rose to 44% among men but fell to 27% among women.

US men are also spending more of their lives as the primary (or sole) shopper in their households and digital is helping them along. This needn’t mean millennial men spend endless hours in stores, and online and mobile shopping’s convenience wins it a large constituency among young men. In a January 2013 DDB Worldwide survey of US internet users, 40% of the young men subscribed to the statement, “Ideally, I would buy everything online.”

And the survey also found that young men overindexed for mobile shopping activities that ranged from usage of retail store apps to price checking via mobile phone.


The full report, “Taking the Measure of Millennial Men: As Sort-of-Grownups, as Digital Users, as Consumers,” also answers these key questions:

  • Are young men really lagging behind young women? Do they care?
  • What role do digital technologies play in millennial men’s lives? Have online pursuits shoved offline pastimes aside?
  • How do young men feel about shopping? How do online and mobile shopping fit into their purchase practices?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


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