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Millennials have grown up in a world where answers are Googled in nanoseconds. They demand instant gratification, are frustrated by lack of universal WiFi and worry more about iCloud hacks than credit card security. They text, tweet, speak in emoji, use GIFs to express emotion and effortlessly master tech advances in a blink, tap, swipe and three-fingered grasp. They’ve come of age as the Internet and mobile devices exploded, thrusting their generation into an era of unprecedented choices -- including, as the readers of this vehicle well know, an ever-more fragmenting media landscape. Yet, despite their scattered attentions, reaching this segment is crucial: They are 76 million consumers strong (the largest) with $1.7 trillion in purchasing power. *

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The show was the SAG Awards, which is now in the running to replace the BAFTAs as my favorite awards show of the season (more on that below). The tablet – specifically my goddaughter’s iPad – was located on her family’s kitchen table, around which we all sat talking, snacking and taking in every minute of the show. Their deluxe 60-inch high-definition TV was just a few feet away in the family room, but nobody turned it on. Tellingly, nobody ever thought to do so. It was in every respect a richly satisfying experience. Some credit goes to the show itself. Some of the credit goes to an app available from her family’s media provider (Optimum) which allows customers to watch live television on their tablets. Some credit must also go to the novelty of it all, at least for me.

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TV viewers have certainly demonstrated what’s most important to the American public. The State of Union speech from the President drew not quite 32 million viewers. College football’s playoffs and championship drew, respectively, 28m each for the playoffs and 33m+ for the Monday night championship. But America loves the NFL most … New England v. Indianapolis drew 42m+ while Green Bay v. Seattle drew almost 50m. Give or take a few.

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Media agencies have failed to convince the mass of clients of the value of planning. This matters as planning is essential (all agree), and so it has to be paid for somehow. And that’s where we move into the world of kick-backs, rebates, and more recently digital deviousness. If anyone doubts the evolution of the old model then a look through the holding companies’ public statements is instructive. This good piece from ID Comms quotes from the 2013 WPP Annual Report: “The Group receives volume rebates from certain suppliers for transactions entered into on behalf of clients.” It may not be new, but it’s now official.

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