According to a study by Defy Media, Internet users aged between 13 to 24 are watching significantly less traditional TV, and consuming more digital content. But not only is this age group more engaged with online content, including videos, they trust the personalities created out of the new media, and would consider buying a product or service endorsed by a brand or individual who has made their name online. Let's take a deeper dive into the report.

63% of 14-17 Year Olds Trust Endorsements from YouTubers

In her keynote speech at VidCon 2015, YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki highlighted the fact that 8 out the top 10 places in a Variety survey that ranked talent went to YouTubers, including PewDiePie, and KSI. Why? Well, it all boils down to relatability. YouTubers and TV/Movie stars are viewed equally as aspirational, meaning they have traits youth strive to achieve, or has unique or special talents.

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Is this a fad or a trend that will carry forth as young people get older? Defy Media states that "we believe it’s a trend because YouTubers have equal influence on teens and young adults". YouTubers are going mainstream and over 60% of all the age groups questioned confirmed they would by a product or service from a brand endorsed by a YouTuber creator. YouTubers are also followed on social media by a relatively equal number of each of the age groups.

Defy Media is the home of Break, Smosh, and Screen Junkies, along with some other brands focused on entertainment, comedy, lifestyle, and gaming. Earlier studies from the company (a new brand formed by the merging of Alloy Digital and Break Media), focused on men as an individual consumer group. However, only some of this demographic - those aged between 18-34 years old had been researched into as a unique age group. Meanwhile, 13-17 year olds had been scarcely addressed.

Digital: Second Nature to a New Generation

Now, it would be “old news” to regular readers of ReelSEO to find that Millennials spend on average 30% of their time online to content that has been created or shared by their friends or peers, or from those they follow on their social networks.  That's a lot more time then this age group spend in front of their TV screens.  But, the big news about youth in the report is the decline in television watching and the increase in digital consumption, particularly via social media – because virtually all of those 13-17 and even a significant percentage of those 18-24 still live at home with their parents, who watch TVs – although often in another room of the house. This age group has had the resources and motivation to stream, access, or download any kind of content they want. Digital really is second nature to them and drives their consumption of, and engagement with, online web and video content. Hey, who wants to hassle mom or dad over who gets to control the TV remote?

Millennials have a different concept of  sharing, or being alone compared to those of older generations. For instance, you’re never really alone if you have a friend to text or follow or share things with on social media. And “offline” really has little meaning to teens these days.. This generation also "connects" via digital, like the sharing of video content. Video becomes a bond between peers. But not all tweens and teenagers are attached to their smartphones when it comes to accessing the Internet. Most 13 year olds still use the family laptop and only 40% have their own mobile device. This number raises to 59% as kids reach 14-17 years of age.

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Millennials are Watching Fewer Traditional TV Shows

Those aged 13-24 are also watching a lot less traditional TV. Streaming video content, particularly from sites like YouTube is being watched for around 11 hours per week by 96% of Millennials. Kids will sit in front of a TV screen for only 8 hours per week.  It’s no wonder that so many network television executives are whistling past the graveyard this fall.Acumen Report 1

Millennials are so attracted to online video because it fits in better with their general lifestyle. They can watch what they want, when they want, and has a better selection of choice than traditional TV content. Of course, they can also choose to ignore online advertising.

Thumbstoppers: How Millennials Discover Content

Millennials very often turn to their social network feeds to discover new content, using their thumbs to scroll quickly through the feeds. If something catches their eye they will stop and look - the report calls this a “thumbstopper moment". Interestingly, theses moments don't have to have anything to do with the actual content, they can raise interest just because they have been recommended by a certain person, or because it may be going viral.

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Facebook, Instagram Most Popular Social Networks

When it comes to social media, Facebook is the site that is most often used among those aged between 18-24, although there appears to be a decrease in interest for those aged 13-17 years old.  Instagram is the second most popular social sites, especially among 13 to 17 year olds.

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It appears that 13-24 year olds have totally tuned out traditional television programming executives, which may explain why these old fogies are whistling past the graveyard.