In terms of how Americans watch TV, online streaming seems to be gaining ground over cable and broadcast. According to the Harris Poll of 2,300 adults in the U.S., 77 percent say they regularly watch television shows via either cable (55 percent) or satellite TV (23 percent). Over four in ten say they regularly watch via streaming (43 percent) including two-thirds of Millennials (67 percent).
At 85 percent, the percentage of Americans saying they most often watch traditional TV (live feed, recorded or on demand) is down from 89 percent in 2012; online streaming is up from 20 percent in 2012 to 23 percent today. This preferential shift is strongest when looking at Millennials, among whom non-streaming TV preference has declined from 77 percent to 68 percent while streaming preference has grown from 41 percent to 47 percent. This does not mean these viewers are completely engaged; 85 percent admit surfing the internet, shopping online and using social networks while they watch shows.
Among those who regularly watch via streaming, 74 percent use a computer to do so and 55% use a television (whether via a set-top box, game system or television with integrated online capabilities). Thirty-seven percent watch on tablets and 30 percent watch on smartphones.