TIS 2019 Ignited a Fundamental Question – What Does Crossing the Generational Divide Mean for PayTV?

Published on 15/08/2019

Category: Innovation

I hear it all the time: “Millennials are SO lazy”, “Millennials are entitled”, “Millennials don’t use comas when they write”, “oh, those Millennials”, etc., etc., etc… To be fair, I am probably the harshest critic on Millennials. I understand the frustrations that other generations have when working, selling and overall dealing with us. But the reality is, that we owe it to each other to try to understand one another by crossing the generational divide and utilizing our strengths: especially in business.  

During TIS 2019, I attended Jason Dorsey’s presentation, from The Center for GenerationalKinetics’ and I can honestly say that I could relate to almost everything he said about Millennials. Unfortunately, as a society, and even in business, we focus too much on our generational differences instead of our generational strengths. These strengths can be leveraged for success during any type of digital transformation.

What are generations? “A group of people born about the same time and raised in about the same place”. A lot of what we believe about generations isn’t true and that stems from believing that generations fit in a box instead of being clues to predict behavior. Predictability by scenario was the key takeaway of Jason’s presentation and it’s a great lesson for operators.  

The 3 key drivers to predict how generations will act were highlighted thoroughly during the presentation:

Driver #1 – Parenting:

We hear it all the time: “Millennials are entitled”, we hate to break it to you, but entitlement is 100% learned. Who raised them? Baby boomers. Looking at how different generations were raised is the #1 predictor of behavior.


Driver #2 – Technology:

“Technology is only new if you remember it the way it was before, or else it will never be new.” This is something that generations after Gen Z (including Millennials) need to understand when dealing with generations to come. Your brain, unless it remembers otherwise, cannot remember the past if it was never exposed to it – if it’s history for a generation, it isn’t relevant to them.


Driver #3 – Geography (Rural vs. Urban):

Trends come from urban settings: why? Because of diversity. Trends take years to trickle down to rural areas which is a key driver that businesses everywhere need to understand when trying to predict behavior.

How did Jason segment the different generations after his research?


  • GenZ aka iGen – Born about 1996 to 2015.

“They do not remember 9/11 or even a time before smartphones, social media & Internet.”

  • Millenials aka Gen Y – Born about 1977 to 1995.

“The fastest growing generation of employees and consumers”.

  • Gen X – Born about 1965 to 1976

Often skeptical: “Trust but verify.” 

  • Baby Boomers – Born about 1946 to 1964.

“Defines work ethic in hours per week and don’t believe you’re working unless they can see you.”  

What does this mean for operators everywhere? That the changes are rippling up and we are seeing it clearer than ever: “the changes in behavior are coming from the youngest”. Just in the PayTV industry, we are seeing this to be true with how the youngest are watching TV everywhere. 

I would like to leave you with this one thought. As a technology company, are you using these behavioral clues to succeed during this digital transformation?

Let us know what you think: espial.com/elevate

-Your Millennial Insider

Valerie Mayer

Marketing Coordinator at Enghouse Networks

Valerie Mayer

Marketing Coordinator at Enghouse Networks

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