February 27, 2012
When Streaming Content Becomes Real—Millennials Drive the Digital Boom
By Esther Weinberg
Recently Comcast announced the launch of Streampix, a new video streaming service which will offer their cable subscribers access to 75,000 television shows and movies via cellphones, tablets and laptops, according to The New York Times. Although Comcast declared they are not interested in competing with Netflix or offering Streampix to non-subscribers, Streampix does offer an innovative way to tackle emerging media forces such as Netflix and Amazon.
With the race to capture eyeballs and to keep already established subscribers beaming with happiness, companies are doing what they can to give consumers ways to watch what they want—and when they want—on a multitude of different platforms and screens.
Who is driving the desire to watch content on any conceivable platform? Here’s a clue: A senior executive recently shared the story of his 4-year-old walking up to his laptop screen and pushing the screen while asking, “Daddy, why isn’t anything moving?”
Perhaps he should have answered, “Son, this is an older generational gadget. I’ll upgrade soon.”
Companies are gearing up for rapidly evolving consumer desires. And the Millennial generation—those who are born between 1980-2000—may be behind the fever. Millennials represent an 80 million powerhouse that is beginning to pour into the workforce. Representing ages 11-30, they are a force to be reckoned with.
Highly tech savvy, Millennials want their lives and the world around them to be uber tech-oriented. You can count on Millennials to teach the other generations a thing or two about launching digital products. So what makes this generation so unique?
- Love to multitask.
- Embrace life.
- Devoted to work/life balance.
- Connected globally through social media and their own personal travels.
- High performance/high maintenance and believe in their own worth—proven by their thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers.
- Not afraid to ask for help.
- Expect to move up the ladder fast.
- Want to change the world.
- Believe they will be automatically rewarded for just showing up.
- Grew up with no failure.
- Like constant feedback and recognition.
- Want to be taken seriously and to have participative decision-making.
- Want work to be fun!
Millennials are driving buying trends and pushing consistently for technological innovation purely by their voracious desire for everything to be in the palm of their hands. And, they are shifting the way organizations operate.
Within organizations, Millennials exhibit more divergent work ethics and values and consequently provoke the most complaints. You know a new generation has come of age when it’s front-page news that singer Taylor Swift was dumped by her boyfriend via a text message, and when it is socially acceptable that Millennials avoid conflict by de-friending each other on Facebook.
How do you manage this new generation while creating harmony among other generations? Here’s a top 10 list for managing Millennials to create a thriving workplace:
- Use reverse mentoring—allow the younger generation of workers to become mentors.
- Adopt a casual work environment, including dress.
- Take advantage of their technological multitasking approach to life.
- Leverage their social media expertise and make it a competitive advantage.
- Capitalize on the Millennial’s affinity for global networking: Facebook is not just their friend, it’s their BFF (best friend forever).
- Provide a work-life balanced workplace.
- Put the “F” word back into the workplace—keep work FUN!
- Involve Millennials’ parents, as they are an integral part of their lives.
- Make sure your company has stated values, a bigger vision and clear contributions that benefit the world.
- Set expectations early on—don’t sugar coat them.
(Esther Weinberg is a leadership expert and a cable veteran with a 20-year track record in the industry. She currently creates breakthrough strategies for such companies as ESPN, Microsoft, Scripps Networks, NBCUniversal Cable, Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., Motorola, Headline News Network and MTV Networks, among others. She is the contributing author to the leadership book “Breaking Through” by Barbara Stanny. Esther is a Board Member of NAMIC-Southern California, a mentor for WICT Southern California and a member of the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association.)