storyblocks creative survey generations businessman working from home on laptop  sitting balcony

Millennials are more than twice as likely than older generations to tackle a wide variety of new creative tasks, according to a new survey by stock photo and video company StoryBlocks. The survey suggests that creatives in the 18-35 age group are more likely to try a wider range of creative tasks, including building a mobile app, taking an online art class, and even learning how to knit.

The survey asked more than 1,000 content creators and StoryBlocks users based in the U.S. to look for differences in how the younger generations and older generations approach creativity, noting a number of different trends.

The survey also asked creatives what type of software they used. Only about 25 percent of the younger group said they use Adobe, long the biggest name in the creative software, but the older generation was only a few percentage points more, at just 29 percent. The difference between the generations in where they find stock media had a bit larger gap: 27 percent of millennials used tools built into the software to find the necessary images compared to only six percent of those over 35. 

“Millennials are shifting away from traditional ‘all inclusive’ software suites like Adobe Creative Cloud and moving toward lighter, browser-based ‘use case’ driven editing tools,” StoryBlocks CEO TJ Leonard said. “And this shift is directly impacting how creatives find and incorporate stock media into their projects.”

Perhaps less surprisingly, creatives older than 35 are twice as likely to find inspiration from publications, both in print and online, while millennials were twice as likely to find inspiration from YouTube. Pinterest and Facebook ranked second and third as sources of inspiration among creatives under 35.

Millennials are also more likely to be using stock media for a full-time job at 50 percent compared to 44. “When you combine the self-starter nature of Millennials with digital savviness, you end up with a higher percentage who regularly use stock media as part of their full-time job,” Leonard said. “Younger workers don’t outsource content development to the design or creative department like many older professionals do, and they think differently about the editing process as a result.”

Leonard suggests that the generation disparity has already created trends towards more authentic images that more closely resemble social media feeds, but those trends could also influence software. “The way younger generation of artists prefer to access stock media will give market share to a new category of lighter weight, browser-based products. The products that win will tightly integrate tools, stock media, and publishing capabilities,” he said.

StoryBlocks emerged from VideoBlocks last year when the stock video platform expanded into additional categories and merged its GraphicStock images into one platform.

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