Press Release

Viacom Unveils Findings From Global Research Study, "The Next Normal: An Unprecedented Look At Millennials Worldwide"

November 15, 2012 at 5:00 AM EST

LONDON and NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) and its Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) division, today unveiled in-depth findings from its groundbreaking new study, "The Next Normal: An Unprecedented Look at Millennials Worldwide," which provides the first truly global portrait of this highly influential demographic. The findings were presented at the Monaco Media Forum by Colleen Fahey Rush, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer, Viacom Media Networks.

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The study spans every continent and delivers insights into the attitudes, values, aspirations and perspectives of young people (ages 9-30) from 24 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. In total, this project included 15,000 interviews, in-depth explorations and expert contributions/commentaries.

"'The Next Normal' is the broadest single study of the Millennial generation to date," said Rush. "It is a truly detailed understanding of this complex generation from all corners of the world, and is without a doubt the definitive guide to this demographic's evolution. These insights will help inform our content and further strengthen our connections with Millennial audiences around the globe."

The study revealed that the economy is the #1 factor impacting the Millennial generation today, with 68% feeling personally touched by the global economic crisis. This percentage increases in Spain (86%), Italy (85%), and Greece (80%). But despite significant economic concerns, the vast majority of Millennials worldwide demonstrate a strong sense of happiness and optimism.

  • Over three-quarters (76%) describe themselves as "very happy."
  • Millennials' levels of happiness outweigh stress levels by a factor of over 2 to 1.
  • Latin American Millennials report the highest levels of happiness, in countries like Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

"We have a wealth of research on how young people approach life, what they consider important and how they cope with challenging situations," said Christian Kurz, Vice President, Research & Insights, VIMN. "This study builds on Viacom's already significant leadership in understanding our audiences and is a perfect example of our commitment to extending this knowledge and expertise globally."

Following is a snapshot of additional key findings from the study:

Economic concerns have resulted in a legacy of fear around job security and doubts about upward mobility.

  • Unemployment outweighs world hunger as the top global issue that young people want to see solved.
  • Almost half of young people (49%) believe that job security will continue to get worse.
  • A full 78% would rather have a minimum wage job than no job at all.
  • While 38% of young people in 2006 strongly agreed with the statement, "I will earn more than my parents," that percentage is down to 25% in the post-crisis era.

Spending time with family is the top driver of happiness for Millennials today. Forty-five percent of all 9-30s globally say their #1 best friend is someone within the family.

"Thanks to the importance Millennials place on family bonds, the family unit today is closer than ever," added Kurz. "'The Next Normal,' based on the widest ever cross-section of Millennials, confirms that this emphasis on family is a global phenomenon."    

Friendships, both real-life and online, are another key driver of happiness. Among Millennials, there is a trend towards smaller circles of real-life friends compared with online friends, which are skyrocketing.

  • Over the past six years, Millennials have maintained about the same number of best friends, but their wider circle of everyday friends is shrinking.
  • On the other hand, Millennials average well over 200 online friends. In the past six years, there has been a significant jump in the number of online contacts whom they consider friends, but have never actually met in person.

Rather than defining the Millennial generation, technology is more of an enabler. If asked, a Millennial might say, "Technology doesn't make me who I am. It lets me be who I am." Technology underpins relationships and plays an important role in sustaining happiness and broadening horizons.

  • Three quarters of Millennials believe social media has a beneficial effect on relationships with friends.
  • A full 73% of Millennials say access to the Internet changes the way they think about the world.

Millennials are displaying a growing sense of national pride and interest in maintaining local traditions. At the same time, they have an increasingly open and tolerant view of other countries and cultures.

  • 83% agree "I'm proud to be [X] nationality," up from 77% in 2006.
  • 76% agree that it's important to maintain their country's traditions, up from 68% in 2006.
  • 73% think it's great to have people from other countries coming to live in their respective home country, up from 51% in 2006.
  • 86% describe themselves as tolerant.
  • 84% agree "my age group has the potential to change the world for the better."

"A key priority for VIMN is to provide its audiences around the world with 'glocal' content --programming that strikes the right balance between global and local themes," continued Kurz. "Our findings from 'The Next Normal' indicate a truly positive display of 'glocalisation' in action among Millennials at an even deeper level."

This study indicates that "The Next Normal" is much more "we" than "me." Key defining traits for the Millennial generation include a sense of global community, newfound tolerance and flexibility, increased creativity and a powerful desire to share and connect. 

  • 87% are actively curious about the world.
  • 87% apply the phrase "sharing and connecting" to themselves.
  • 85% describe themselves as able to adapt quickly to change.
  • 93% globally believe it's our responsibility to treat all people with respect, regardless of race, gender, religion, political viewpoint or sexual orientation.


About Viacom
Viacom is home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms in over 160 countries and territories. With media networks reaching approximately 700 million global subscribers, Viacom's leading brands include MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, BET, CENTRIC, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV Land, SPIKE, Tr3s, Paramount Channel and VIVA. Paramount Pictures, celebrating its 100th year in 2012 and creator of many of the most beloved motion pictures, continues today as a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. Viacom operates a large portfolio of branded digital media experiences, including many of the world's most popular properties for entertainment, community and casual online gaming.

For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit  Keep up with Viacom news by following Viacom's blog at and Twitter feed at

About Viacom International Media Networks
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is  comprised of many of the world's most popular multimedia entertainment brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Channel, VH1, VIVA, COLORS, Game One and Tr3s: MTV, Musica y Mas. Viacom brands are seen globally in more than 600 million households in 170 territories and 37 languages via more than 200 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 550 digital media and mobile TV properties.


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