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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 14, 2014

Millennials Watch 33 Percent of TV on Digital (Non-TV) Platforms

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

The best-case scenario for TV content owners is consumers watching shows, but today it’s happening in ways that are harder to measure.

To be sure, TV viewing is harder to measure these days, with time shifting and streaming as well as other forms of consumption all augmenting traditional “television viewing.” That appears to be particularly true of Millennials, who spend about a third of their original TV series consumption time watching on digital platforms.

Boiled down by category, 66 percent time spent watching TV among Millennials was done on a traditional television. About 19 percent of viewing time occurs on desktops and laptops, six percent on smartphones and six percent on tablets, comScore says.

Looking at devices Millennials report using to view video in a typical month; 44 percent say they watched on a PC, 49 percent on a tablet and 31 percent on a smartphone.

The Nielsen study also suggests 24 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds are not subscribing to subscription TV services.

About 13 percent of Millennial respondents say they have paid for a subscription in the past, but have cut the cord, while 11 percent say they’ve never subscribed at all.

None of those results are surprising. For many consumers, Internet consumption is simply the most convenient way to consume shows.

More than half of those surveyed said schedule flexibility (56 percent) and convenience (52 percent) were the main reasons for watching TV content on the Internet.

The ability to skip commercials was important for about 38 percent of respondents.

Also, the ability to binge watch (35 percent) and lower cost (29 percent) were cited as motivations for watching Internet video.

About 46 percent of Millennials’ viewing is typically watched in a time-shifted manner, compared to 35 percent among 35 to 54 year-olds, and 30 percent among those who are older than 55.

Consumers who subscribe to streaming video services are more likely to binge-view TV shows over a monthly period—some 87 percent say they do so.

Some 43 percent of respondents who “binge view” say they use a digital video recorder.

Subscription video on demand services are used by 19 percent for binge viewing.

Internet connected TV devices are the platform of choice for 12 percent of binge viewers.

Among homes surveyed that do not buy a subscription video service, 60 percent are single-person households and 52 percent are in homes without children.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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