Vanguard DA - Audience Media Consumption

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Websites that Offer Investing Content

Websites that offer robo investing/robo-advisor content, advice, and reviews include NerdWallet, Investor Junkie, Money Under 30, SmartAsset, and Robo-Advisor Pros.


Investor Junkie

Money Under 30


Robo-Advisor Pros

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Favorite Apps - Adults Aged 25-45

Much is written about the 25-45-year-old age group, given it is one that marketers target relentlessly. It is also the generation that has grown up with technology. Apps are second nature to especially the younger members of this group. The five apps that were identified as the most popular following ComScore's recent survey hold a few surprises. Amazon is the app that this generation rated first, followed by Gmail, and Facebook.


  • A staggering 35% of those in this age group ranked Amazon as the app they "could not live without." They also said that the Amazon app was "essential in their lives."
  • The app is free to download from both the Apple and Google Play stores. 26% of this group has the app on their home screen, 21% have it on their home screen in a folder, and 27% have the Amazon app but do not keep it on their home screen.
  • Amazon state in its promotional materials that this app has been designed to "make shopping fun." The app enables users to locate merchandise using their phone camera, track orders in real-time, chat with Amazon, and have fun while shopping.
  • In 2019, after six years, Apple was replaced in the top spot by Amazon as the favorite brand of the Millennial generation, which makes the choice of Amazon as their favorite app a little less surprising. It is also in line with an increasing preference among this age group to purchase fast-moving consumer goods online. 61% of this group purchased consumer goods online.


  • The second most popular app among this group is Gmail, with 30% saying they could not live without it. Having grown up with the internet and mobile phones, this generation recognizes the importance of functional apps, like Gmail.
  • The Gmail app is a free app available for download at the Apple or Google Play stores.
  • This app allows subscribers to keep up to date with their latest emails. It offers a range of different features, including a comprehensive search feature, threaded conversations, contact updates, and undo send, to prevent embarrassing mistakes.
  • Statistics show exactly why Gmail was considered the second most popular app. Google (through Gmail) accounts for 20% of the world's emails, which equates to 1.5 billion users monthly. 27% of all emails opened are Gmail emails. 75% of those using Gmail access it through the app on their phone.
  • 61% of Millennials use Gmail for email. 54% of those aged 30-44 use Gmail. 39% of Gen X (who make up the leading edge of this demographic) use Gmail. These are the members of the identified demographic, the majority of the members are using Gmail as their primary email, which provides some rationale for its selection as the second most popular app.


  • Facebook's revelation as the third app that members of this demographic can't live without, given that its popularity is waning among the younger members of the group, is a little surprising. However, Facebook remains popular with the older Millennials and younger Gen Xers, also included in the demographic considered.
  • Instagram and Snapchat, thought to be more popular than Facebook among this demographic, did not even make the top five most popular apps. A survey that followed this research found that among this demographic, the number of people that use Snapchat is noticeably less than Facebook.
  • Like the other apps in the top three, Facebook is a free app that can be downloaded from the Apple and Google Play stores.
  • While Facebook has seen a decline in users under 25, this has not been reflected in the 25-45-year-old age group. The Facebook "watch" feature has become compelling viewing, with 40% of the group saying they watch at least one video in this feature weekly.
  • This group spends, on average, 30 hours per month on mobile social apps, and for 80%, Facebook is one of the three apps used regularly. There is much written about social media and Millennials, so it is not surprising that a social media app was one of the most popular apps among this group.

Research Strategy

Millennials are the generation born 1980-1994. They are aged 26-40 years of age currently. Given that there is no specific data available on the favorite apps of those aged 25-45 years of age, the Millennial population has been used as a proxy. Only 13% of this group has amassed $250,000 or more in investable assets, so some broad generalizations can be made based on the behaviors of the Millennial population.

To determine the apps that were most popular among this demographic, we reviewed a range of media publications, scholarly research, surveys, and industry publications. We were able to identify the Comcast Survey, which asked this exact question to the required demographic. The study conducted by Comcast is the leading research in the area, and the most recent. It has been cited numerous times in articles and research in this area. The research was reported in multiple publications, and the feedback supports that the apps identified by the survey are the most popular apps among this demographic. Once we had identified the apps, we reviewed the aforementioned sources to identify the reasons for their popularity.
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Magazine and/or Newspaper Preferences - Adults Aged 25-45

Magazines and newspapers favored by Americans aged 25-45 with less than $250,000 in investable assets include the Washington Post, The New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, Game Informer Magazine, People Magazine and Time Magazine.
  • The most popular US newspapers, by circulation, with a national appeal or focus are the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The New York Times.
  • The most popular magazines by circulation are National Geographic, Better Homes and Gardens, Game Informer Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, People Magazine, Time and Woman's Day.
  • The Washington Post has 11 million visitors per week. 54% earn over $75,000 in household income.
  • The New York Times has 2.3 million subscribers who are younger than average. Its largest demographic is 35-44 year olds.
  • National Geographic Magazine reaches over 27.9 million adults. One-third of them are millennials. It also ranked the top magazine for Generation Z.
  • Game Informer Magazine sees a median age of 22 years old, with 64% of its readers in the 18-34 year old age bracket.
  • People Magazine is read by 96 million Americans weekly. Its average household income is $74,000 and 41% of readers are 25-49 years old.
  • Time Magazine has a weekly circulation of over 3 million with 35 million unique monthly visitors. Its median household income reach is $75,000.

Research Strategy

We found lists of the most popular newspapers and magazine by circulation in the United States. We immediately eliminated those without national appeal (such as local newspapers) or ones that definitely would not factor into this demographic (such as AARP's publications). Our final list to research further was the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, National Geographic, Better Homes and Gardens, Game Informer Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, People Magazine, Time and Woman's Day. We then checked the demographic profile for each of these publications to find which were the most popular among 25-45 year olds with less than $250,000 in investable assets. We were able to eliminate The Wall Street Journal (its demographic was too wealthy), Better Homes and Gardens (its demographic too old) and Good Housekeeping (also too old).

This left us with nine publications, so we then crunched some numbers to find those that are the most popular, by circulation, in the US among certain demographics. Family Circle only has a 3.8 million circulation figure and skews slightly older, so we eliminated it from this group. Similarly, Woman's Day sees 14 million readers but also has an older readership. USA Today also only has a six million readership rate, but it also skews to an older demographic. While Game Informer Magazine has a lower circulation rate, it is extremely popular among younger and less wealthy adults, with 64% of its readership coming from 18-34 year olds. The New York Times was left on the list for a similar reason, as its readership is reportedly younger than most newspapers. While the final list has six entries, we felt this was the closest possible we could get in narrowing down the top newspaper and magazine preferences for this demographic.

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Media Preferences - Adults Aged 25-45

Based on the available data, U.S. adults aged 25-45 years with less than $250,000 in investable assets would have a preference for digital platforms and are likely to watch NBC, Fox, CBS, ABC, and ESPN. They are also likely to show a preference for smartphones over tablets, and their social networks of choice would be YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, in that order. Below is an overview of the findings, as well as an explanation of the methodology, assumptions, and logic.

Preferred Media Channels

  • According to a Nielsen study, digital platforms are by far the most preferred media channels among U.S. adults aged between 18 years and 49 years.
  • Adults aged 18-34 years spent about 47% of their daily media consumption time on digital platforms followed by 22% on live and time-shifted television. Radio and television-connected devices accounted for 16% and 15% of their media consumption time, respectively.
  • The trend was similar among adults aged 35-49 years with digital platforms accounting for about 42% of their daily media consumption time and live and time-shifted television accounting for 34%. Radio and TV-connected devices accounted for 17% and 8%, respectively.

Mobile Habits

  • At 34%, smartphone apps/web accounted for about one-third of the time spent daily by U.S. adults aged 18-34 years on media consumption, translating to about 2 hours 50 minutes daily. Among adults aged 35-49 years, smartphone apps/web accounted for 29% of the total, translating to about 3 hours.
  • Tablets lagged at 7% for both age groups and accounted for 35 minutes and 43 minutes for the younger and older groups, respectively. Overall, the latter age group spent more time consuming media than the former.

Top Television Networks

Favorite Social Channels

  • According to research conducted by Pew Research, YouTube tops all other social networks in popularity among Americans aged 25-49 years.
  • In 2019, about 93% of U.S. adults aged 25-29 years stated that they used YouTube, compared to 84% and 57% for Facebook and Instagram, respectively.
  • During the same period, 87%, 79%, and 42% reported that they had used YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, respectively.


Our research began by focusing on the public domain in search of news articles, research reports, expert opinions, and any relevant publicly-available information. While data on the media preferences for U.S. adults was readily available, there was nothing specific to those aged 25-45 years with less than $250,000 in investable assets. Next we searched for age-specific data and it was soon apparent that researchers and analysts segmented age groups by generations, e.g. millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, e.t.c. A deeper search produced data on 18-34-year-olds and 35-49-year-olds. We believe that the data is viable since numerically, 25-45 represents over 65% of 18-49. Where available, we have provided some data on 25-49-year-olds. We also assume the data provided to be relevant to people with less that $250,000 in investable assets because less than 30% of Americans aged 18-52 years have over $100,000 in investable assets. Logically, the percentage would be even lower for those with $250,000 in investable assets. This means that a vast majority of people surveyed in the research are likely to have less than $250,000 in investable assets.
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Websites Frequented for Financial Advice

Five websites that adults between ages 25 and 45 frequently visit to seek financial advice are Investopedia, Business Insider, CNN Money, Forbes, and the Balance. For the purposes of this research, age demographics are described in terms of generations. According to Pew Research, the Millennial generation consists of individuals between ages 24 and 39. Members of Gen X are between ages 40 and 54.


  • Investopedia is a financial education website headquartered in New York, NY that gives investing advice, teaches money management, and explains "complex financial concepts." A link to its official website can be found here.
  • The website provides educational resources, access to financial advisers, and an online academy where visitors can learn about more advanced concepts in finance and investing. Other offerings include personal finance articles, a stock market simulation game, and financial news.
  • According to Amazon's Alexa website analytics database, Investopedia ranks #460 in terms of global internet engagement. Top search keywords that visitors use include Amazon stock, S&P 500, Elon Musk, and Dow Jones. They also visit websites like the Balance, Forbes, CNBC, and the Motley Fool.
  • Millennials make up 69% of its social media traffic, while Gen X accounts for 23% of visitors.
  • More than three quarters of its social media audience is male.
  • Investopedia offers a wealth of information for experienced investors, and its wide selection of educational content makes it an excellent resource for novices.

Business Insider

  • Business Insider is a digital media website headquartered in New York, NY that provides news coverage for the business, finance, and technology sectors. A link to its official website can be found here.
  • Its finance section offers news articles covering an array of topics related to the stock market and personal finance.
  • Amazon's Alexa ranks Business Insider #238 in terms of global internet engagement. People visiting this website also frequently visit CNN, Forbes, USA Today, and CNBC.
  • Millennials account for 66% of its social media traffic, and Gen X makes up 25% of visitors.
  • Roughly two-thirds of its social media audience is male, and about a third of its visitors are female.
  • Business Insider's content caters primarily to experienced investors, although novices could certainly find it a useful resource for learning more about investing and personal finance.

CNN Money

  • CNN Money is the finance section of CNN News, which is headquartered in New York, NY. A link to its official website can be found here.
  • Its content covers such topics as the stock market, fin tech, and current events, as well as business and financial advice.
  • Amazon's Alexa ranks CNN #97 in terms of global internet engagement. Visitors commonly search for information about the stock market, and other websites of interest include the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNBC, and Business Insider.
  • Millennials make up 65% of the social media traffic for CNN Money specifically, while 27% of visitors are members of Gen X.
  • Over three quarters of its social media audience is male.
  • CNN Money's stock market information in particular is targeted mainly at experienced investors, although the website could also serve as a wealth of information for novices looking to learn more about the finance and business sectors.


  • Forbes is a news magazine headquartered in Jersey City, NJ that covers the business and finance industries. A link to its official website can be found here.
  • Its finance section covers such topics as innovation, leadership, money, business, and lifestyle. Forbes offers profiles of popular billionaires worldwide. It also has an entire page dedicated to financial advice.
  • Amazon's Alexa ranks Forbes #224 in terms of global internet engagement. Visitors commonly search for information about bitcoin, the stock market, and Elon Musk. They also frequently visit websites like Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, and Quora.
  • Millennials account for 64% of its social media traffic, and 27% of visitors are members of Gen X.
  • Approximately two-thirds of its social media audience is male, and just under a third of visitors are female.
  • Forbes' finance section is appealing for both experienced and novice investors alike. Its financial advising content in particular is a good resource for newer investors.

The Balance

  • The Balance is a financial education website headquartered in New York, NY that gives advice related to personal finance, money management, and investing. A link to its official website can be found here.
  • The website specifically provides information about investing, credit cards, taxes, banking, and loans. The Balance has three sister sites called the Balance Careers, the Balance Small Business, and the Balance Everyday.
  • Amazon's Alexa ranks the Balance #2,250 in terms of global internet engagement. Visitors frequently search for information about savings accounts, CD rates, home equity loans, and tax brackets. They often visit other such websites as Investopedia, NerdWallet, Bankrate, and the Motley Fool.
  • Millennials make up 62% of its social media traffic, while Gen X accounts for 27% of visitors.
  • In terms of gender demographics, the Balance is more evenly divided with males accounting for 55% of its social media audience and females accounting for 45%.
  • The Balance's content is primarily targeted at an audience of novice investors and the financially inexperienced.

Research Strategy

We used trusted media publications, statistical databases, and website analytics to find five online resources that adults between ages 24 and 45 often visit to find financial advice. Since Millennials account for nearly three quarters of this age bracket, we focused on sites that had a particularly high volume of visitors from this demographic. To qualify for inclusion on this list, Millennial and Gen X visitors combined had to account for roughly 90% or more of each website's social media traffic. All social media statistics were derived from publicly available Twitter page analytics. Our research indicated that NerdWallet might also be considered a popular resource for financial advice among this age bracket, though we were unable to find concrete demographic data to support this. However, traffic analytics do show that people visiting these five websites also frequently visit NerdWallet.

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