SmithGeiger/Net2TV Study: Only 18% of Video Viewing by Millennials is Real-­time Broadcast or Cable TV

With the ubiquity of media devices and screens, media consumers are now watching an astounding 8.25 hours of video every day. But the viewing is increasingly fragmented, with consumers spending more time watching streaming videos and programs on digital devices, and less watching traditional TV. These are the findings of “TV, Video and Viewers 2015,” a new report from media industry research firm SmithGeiger LLC and streaming television company Net2TV Corp.

Leading this shift, 18- to 34-year-old Millennials are spending only 18 percent of their video-viewing time watching traditional broadcast and cable TV. Fully 61 percent of their overall viewing is being done on digital devices (e.g., computers, tablets, smart phones). For older adults, ages 35 to 44, real-time viewing of broadcast or cable TV is only slightly larger – accounting for 27 percent of their total videoviewing time.

“This survey confirms that audiences are making streaming video an increasing share of their total news and entertainment consumption,” said Dr. Seth Geiger, president and co-founder of SmithGeiger. “The results also show that habits are changing rapidly, and that every age group is participating in that shift.”

“For media companies looking to retain and build audiences, the ‘TV, Video and Viewers 2015’ results underscore the urgent need to distribute their content online,” said Tom Morgan, founder and CEO of Net2TV Corp.

Long-Form Takes Center Stage
The shift to non-linear content on digital platforms includes both long-form programming and shorter “snackable” videos.

The survey results indicate long-form programming maintains its popularity, but is increasingly shifting to non-linear platforms. Media consumers are routinely watching content as long as 30 minutes on smartphones and tablets, and for longer than an hour on tablets and connected TVs. This is consistent with Net2TV’s measured viewership numbers that show 96 percent completion rates for shows on its Portico TV app.

“As our partners know, online audiences behave a lot like television audiences as long as the programming is engaging, well-produced and delivered without buffering and stuttering,” said Jim Monroe, co-founder and senior vice president of Net2TV.

These finding are based on an online survey conducted from June 2 through June 5, 2015, of 1,020 18- to 54-year-old adults living in the U.S. who consume at least five minutes of rich media content on any platform on a weekly basis.

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