Translating Loyalty Into Subscriptions: It Will Be Hard With Millennials

We live in a fragmented world and it seems people are looking for almost any excuse to be on opposite sides of an issue. It’s Republican against Democrat, rich versus poor, North against South, Coke versus Pepsi, and any other potentially divisive factor you can think of such as race, religion, gender, age, or national pride. Now take all of those people and try to get them to stay loyal to your brand. That’s no small task—and it’s even harder translating loyalty into subscriptions.

The Millennial generation may be the toughest to reach, and they are just reaching the age where they will be driving the economy more and more. They are online more frequently, they view more digital content, and they spend more time on their mobile devices versus watching TV than any generation that came before. This is the generation that is driving digital marketing. They also hold different values than the previous generations. They demand the content that they want, the way that they want it. Compare this to previous generations who took what we gave them and were happy to have it.

Certain TV channels have figured this out. ESPN and HBO, for example, let the kids take their parent’s cable package with them wherever they go. It’s great for getting Millennials to watch, but what about turning a profit?

The idea seems to be that once this generation finds out that they really enjoy the free content (their parents are paying the cable bill, so to them it seems free), and that they like not having to sit in front of the TV to get it, they will be more loyal to the service that provided it. This loyalty would then translate into dollar signs when premium content is offered. For example, what if you could remove ads by paying for a mobile subscription? If Pandora can do it with mobile music, why can’t a cable network do it on digital?

The fact is premium content services are going to have to step up their game and provide a service that Millennials are willing to pay premium prices for. If they pull it off, translating loyalty into subscriptions will be the prize.