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Millennials Like TV, Just Not Network TV

26 Feb, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Millennials still enjoy their TV, but they’re more likely to get what they watch from online streaming services, says a new report from TiVo.

In its 2013 Millennial Video Entertainment survey, millennials (born in the 1980s to the early 2000s) said they spend 36 percent of their viewing time watching conventional TV shows and sports via subscription services or TV channel apps and Web sites.

Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of millennials say they use free online streaming sources like YouTube, Hulu and network streaming sites, and 60 percent use subscription-based services like Netflix and HBOGo. Other generations, TiVo reports, only use free and subscription services just 40 percent of the time.

TiVo says 14 percent of millennials reported more interest in TV fare this year over last. User-generated content finished second in this measure, with an 8 percent bump up

Viewing full-length films, live events and music videos was reported lower by not only millennials, but also the other three generations. TiVo’s survey downgrades music videos just after Vevo releases data that shows how its music video views skyrocketed last year, particularly on mobile devices.

The research also suggests if marketers are attracting millennials to Web-based services, the big networks and studios should begin producing more programming specifically for those sites, particularly as measurement of all that viewing on all devices improves.

Doug Garnett, founder and CEO of Atomic Direct, a direct response TV firm, says of the TiVo research, “Studies are clear that much of the 64 percent spent apart from conventional TV shows has been added viewing time. I see it with my son who uses video on his iPhone to fill time the way that magazines and radio used to fill time,” says Garnett, a member of the Response Advisory Board. “So they say they get the majority of that 100 percent streamed? Of course. 64 percent is a majority. What this study doesn’t show: one, a drop in conventional TV viewing; nor, two, that there’s a big shift of conventional TV toward streaming. It simply doesn’t show either way.”

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