Break it down: Behaviour and beliefs of 18-24 crew

Break it down: Behaviour and beliefs of 18-24 crew

Download a PowerPoint Deck of the research. 

No single description sufficiently captures the diversity of those who read newspapers and consume online news content.

Appetite for quality journalism exists among the youngest and oldest adults, but how they view society and behave as citizens and consumers varies dramatically.

In a series of four research articles, called Audience in Focus, the key behaviours, beliefs and aspirations of readers of all ages are put into the spotlight.

Audience in Focus provides a snapshot of demography by age, providing insight into how readers consume news media, their key social issues and aspirations for their own lives.

The data from the readership survey emma illustrates the high quality of individuals who come to news media seeking quality reporting, analysis and opinion of events at home and around the world.

Among the many factors to emerge is evidence that these readers – regardless of age – are better educated, more socially aware and higher earners than non-readers.

Here, we present the 18-24 demographic.


Capturing the market

Across print and digital platforms, news media reaches 85 per cent of consumers aged 18-24 – an audience of 1.8 million. They are 23% more likely to get their news online than in print.

News is a significant part of the online lives of this segment. Some 69 per cent read online news content every month — 1.4 million.

This group is 45 per cent more likely to access online news content on their mobile than other older readers, but even in this era of digital news, 56 per cent choose to pick up a newspaper.

  • Total audience: 1.8m
  • Print: 1.2m
  • Digital: 1.4m
    • Mobile: 631,000


Gender divide

A slightly larger percentage of women (88%) engage with news media than men (82%)

Location, location

Big city lifestyles have big appeal for younger audiences.

  • 3:5 live in major metro areas
  • 2:5 live in non-metro regions


This is the best-educated audience segment for news media. Some 22 per cent of them are more likely to have completed tertiary qualifications than non-readers.

  • Less than year 12: 11%
  • High School/Tech: 61%
  • Tertiary: 28%
  • Currently studying: 58%

Spending Power/Employment

  • Work status
    While this demographic’s unemployment rate is twice the average, readers are 11 per cent more likely to be working than non-readers

    • Full-time: 26%
    • Part-time: 32%
    • Not working: 42%
    • Actively looking for work: 38% (not exclusive of those already working)
  • Average personal income
    • $33,168: Full-time or part-time
    • $49,910: Full-time
  • Top 3 employment industries
    • Sales: 192,000
    • Professional: 160,000
    • Labourer: 149,000

Internet usage  

  • 1: average weekly hours spent online
    • +1.3h average increase in weekly internet usage in the last 2 years


Favourite devices

Mobile phones are essential to their lives, demanding on-the-go access to social media, emails and entertainment.

  • 9:10 access the internet via their phone
    • +18% increase in the last year.
  • 37% more likely to use a smartphone to access the internet than the average Australian.


  • Digital natives
    As the first generation of digital natives, they are the fastest to adopt new technologies and engaging online more deeply than older adults.

    • 81% used a social networking app in the last four weeks.
    • 634,000 think it’s important to stay up-to-date with all of the latest gadgets.
    • 37% more likely to be early-adopters of new technology than the average Australian

Outlook on life / Lifestyle

  • Career/money
    Making money and working in a fulfilling career are top priorities for younger readers.

    • 23% more likely to say being successful is important to them than the average Australian and 31% more likely to believe money is the best measure of their success.
    • But, they know they’re going to have to work for it…
    • 4:5 think it’s important to have a job where they can constantly work to improve their abilities and skills.
  • Culture
    This segment understands that the world is interconnected and sees themselves as a part of a global community.

    • 83% say they’re interested in different people, other cultures, ideas and lifestyles – ahead of all other segments.
    • 4:5 say they’re interested in international events.
    • 9:10 think we should strive for equality.
  • Political
    Younger readers embrace a more optimistic view of the world, taking a more relaxed view when it comes to threat perceptions and paying taxes.

    • 23% less likely to be concerned about crime levels where they live
    • 23% less likely to believe national security needs to be improved
    • 7% less likely to think taxes should be lower than the average Australian.
  • The ‘Green Generation’
    They are more environmentally conscious than older generations.

    • 2:3 say government should take urgent action on climate change
    • 77% think big business should be doing more to tackle environmental problems
    • 3:5 believe they can personally make a difference to the environment.

Consumer Habits

  • Retail
    Readers are considerably more likely to be in the top 20 per cent of spenders across a number of key categories than the average consumer:

    • Landline and mobile phone charges: 33% more likely
    • Alcoholic beverages: 24% more likely
    • Fast-food and takeaway: 19% more likely
    • Audio visual equipment: 18% more likely
    • Men’s clothing: 17% more likely
    • Books: 13% more likely
    • Women’s footwear and clothing: 13% more likely
  • Travel
    • 4:5 plan to take a holiday in the next year.
    • Favourite Australian destinations:
      • 604,000: Sydney
      • 590,000: Melbourne
      • 352,000 Gold Coast
    • Favourite overseas destinations:
      • 206,000: USA
      • 198,000: UK
      • 167,000: New Zealand
    • Top holiday goals:
      • 1:2 want rest and relaxation
      • 43% are looking to sightsee
      • 1:3 want a beach holiday
  • Cars
    • 7:10 own a vehicle.
    • 12% plan to buy a car in the next year
      • Average budget: $23,110.
    • Image is a key consideration factor for 1:3 buyers.
    • Toyota is the most considered brand (30%), followed by Mazda (27%) and Holden (21%)

Sources: emma™ conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, People 14+ for the 12 months ending August 2016; Nielsen DRM August 2016, People 14+ only. Nielsen Online Ratings, August 201, people 14+ only (mobile audience profiling only).


Leave a comment