Acumen Insights

Millennials Prefer Streaming Services Over Pay TV

By November 18, 2016 No Comments

According to a study from TDG Research, when forced to choose between pay TV and streaming services, dual-service users reacted differently according to their age. The younger the adult, the more likely they were to choose TV streaming services over pay TV, and vice versa. According to the results, 18 to 24-year-old dual-service users chose streaming services over traditional TV by a two to one margin (66.3 percent versus 33.8 percent), with 25 to 34-year-olds showing a similar skew towards streaming services (61.8 percent versus 38.2 percent). For the 35 to 44 age bracket, 61 percent chose their traditional pay TV service over streaming services, compared to 39 percent who chose their streaming service. This is in opposition to the 25 to 34 group, which suggests quite a cultural gap between Millennials and Gen Xers when it comes to TV viewing. That gap exacerbates with age, with each successive age group preferring traditional TV to streaming services by a larger margin. Indeed, more than three in four respondents aged 65 and older chose pay TV over streaming services.

The survey asked respondents aged 13 to 54, each of whom had viewed a full-length streamed program within the prior 6 months, where they go most frequently when they want to watch a TV show. The first choice for all age groups was the Netflix streaming subscription, garnering 33 percent share of all responses, though cited twice as often by young Millennials (18 to 24) than Boomers aged 50 to 54. The next most cited source is a TV channel during its original air time (16 percent), followed closely by DVR or TiVo service (15 percent). Not surprisingly, these were much more commonly cited among Gen Xers and Boomers than teens and young Millennials, but still failed to match Netflix in any age group. Additionally, 17 percent of teens (13 to 17) specified YouTube as the place they go to most frequently when they want to watch a TV show, equal to a TV channel during original air time (11 percent) and DVR or TiVo service (six percent) combined. Fifty one percent of younger Millennials turn first to Netflix, more evidence of their affinity for streaming.