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Millennials Aren’t Watching TV - They’re Streaming Video

Analyzing the video streaming habits of Millennials vs other demographics

So it’s finally happened. Millennials have finally outdone themselves, literally. It’s not state secret that TV viewership is on the decline. While television right now still reigns supreme in overall viewership, one group has made it clear that online video is their preferred method of consumption.

How many Millennials are watching video

A study by eMarketer found that 64.2 million Millennials (born between 1981-1996) either stream or download at least one video per month. On the flip side, 59 million turn on traditional TV each month. That’s a 9% difference in viewership, and it’s only going to get wider.

More estimates from eMarkerter say the number of Millennial viewership will jump to 64.8 million in 2019 and over 65 million by 2020. An even more mindblowing figure is that close to 90% of Millennials will be watching online videos over the next three years. The shift is consumption is already happening.

How are Millennials consuming video content?

This isn’t just a Netflix thing. Millennials are consuming a much broader range of videos than simply Gossip Girl reruns. The most interesting of these consumption habits have to be social. Interesting because watching a video on social means they discovered that video and decided to click on it. They didn’t necessarily seek out specific content, although 47% of younger Millennials say watching their favourite show on social would be something they’re open to.

When it comes to platforms, Millennials are also taking a broad approach to video consumption. 30% of Millennials stream video through their computer compared to just 17% for everyone else. 26% stream through some kind of console while 29% stream through a connected TV. In comparison, everyone else consumes at a rate of 15% and 20% respectively.

What does this all mean?

Well, depends on who you are. If you’re a Millennial consumer, expect to see much more video platforms. You’re already seeing that with IGTV, Facebook TV, and even YouTube TV. Music streaming services like Tidal and Apple offer videos within their platforms, as well. This will certainly continue.

If you’re in TV on the production side, then you should already be thinking of how to adjust your offering. Online video content isn’t going anywhere. It’s actually growing. So you need to figure out how to remain relevant before you go the way of the print newspaper.

For marketers, if video isn’t part of your content strategy, you’re already behind. Good news is that there are still platforms popping up that are relatively untested - IGTV, LinkedIn Stories - that could work to your advantage. Figure them out and get on the ball.

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