Where are Millennials Watching Video Content? Not on TV. [REPORT]

Share on

I have been putting together a massive piece on how to market to Millennials and more and more research keeps coming out forcing me to update it, turning it into the never-finished piece of awesome I’m sure it will be. Today’s research comes from TiVo and talks about how the Millennials love them some TV content, but hateses the TVses (that’s Gollum speak for they don’t need no stinkin’ TVs).

Now, we already knew that the Millennials are shunning the TV, or more accurately, shunning paying for TV. Many of them are what is being called “cord-nevers,” as in, they never had cable or satellite service that they paid for. Instead, they have gone straight to the online streaming services for their TV content. TiVo backed up that fact with their latest report, 2013 Millennial Video Entertainment survey


Right from the TiVo report:

To collect data for the 2013 Millennial Video Entertainment survey TiVo conducted an online survey of 3,704 people, ages 13 to 74 years old, between Nov. 26 and Dec.15, 2013. Participants were evenly balanced by gender. 1,598 were Millennials (ages 13-36); Gen X participants totaled 621 (ages 37-48); 1,241 Baby Boomers (ages 49-67); 244 from the Silent Generation (ages 68-74).

It looks like a weird spread to me in that there are half as many Gen X as there were Baby Boomers in the survey. But since we’re mainly focusing on the Millennials I guess it’s not a major point of contention.

TV Out, Streaming In

No surprise in the survey is that Millennials don’t watch TV content on TVs, preferring, instead, to seek it out on the streaming services and TV Everywhere applications. Almost three-quarters of Millennials are using free streaming as a source of video content and that is nearly double of all other generations combined. One-fifth of them are using free downloads which is 250% that of other generations. Most surprising to me is that they also top other generations in antenna usage, which would then be over-the-air digital TV broadcasts.

Millennials video sources

Also interesting is the Millennials’ willingness to pay for subscription services for video content with 60% using one or another, more than 20% above all the other generations combined. This is, of course, Hulu Plus, Netflix and perhaps even places like Amazon Instant, etc. They also lead in the Physical Media category which might also be a Netflix effect with them paying for both streaming and physical disc rentals.

Then there’s the MPVD category, where less than half of the Millennials polled are hanging out. Hypothetically, what this chart could say is that 54% of Millennials have never paid for cable or satellite. Now, that’s not exactly what it says, it’s just a snapshot of what people were using at the end of 2013. Still, less than half are getting their TV from the MPVDs and that’s an interesting snapshot indeed.

Millennials Watch What they Watch

Another facet of the survey from TiVo is what Millennials are watching. The have a pretty fractured viewing chart with TV shows taking up just 22% of it.Long gone seem to be the days of young Americans plopping down and watching hundreds of hours of television it seems, yet that number is actually on the rise with 14% saying they are watching more, second in growth was UGC.

Nearly rivaling TV content with 17% is “Other,” which includes a wide range of content like gameplay (Twitch probably) and YouTube. Tied for third are movies and sports (probably combined live and pre-recorded). The rest is chopped up between UGC, music, and live events that aren’t sports.

what millennials watch - TiVo

It’s interesting to see that TV is the largest portion of Millennial viewing, yet still doesn’t quite account for one-quarter of their overall viewing. This also offers us some insight into how we can market to this particular demographic.

Marketing to Millennials

TV ads are expensive, more expensive than most other formats. So if Millennials are only putting 22% of their viewing into TV, it seems illogical to continue dumping the majority of ad budgets into TV when marketing to Millennials. If you take TV and movies out of the chart above, you’re left with 64% of their time split between native online content (like gameplay, YouTube, UGC, etc) and other content that originated on TV (sports, music videos, etc). If I were trying to market to Millennials in a big way, I would be looking at either partnering or sponsoring live streaming events or video content like Twitch. I would be working to get some crowdsourcing going on and having my current consumers generating content for others to share and watch and I would definitely be trying to get my ads adjacent to YouTube channels like VEVO – music videos.


Video Industry

Share on

Read More Insights

©2021 Tubular Insights & Tubular Labs, Inc.