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The Difficulties Of Pinning Down The Viewing Habits Of Millennials


The main problem with trying to pin down the viewing habits of millennials is that there are very different entities within the same overall group. Some millennials live at home with parents, others are single people living in their own place and others have settled down and started a family. The recent Q4 2015 total Audience Report from Nielsen showed that these different lifestyles can have a significant effect on viewing habits. For instance, the report indicated that those millennials who have children watch around one hour of content more per day than those who do not have children.


The report split the millennial demographic into three distinct groups; dependent adults, on their own and starting a family. It looked at the viewing habits of these very different groups and produced some interesting findings, such as the fact that those without children spend more time using a smartphone or a tablet.

What other differences are there?

Those millennials who are grouped as on their own are more likely to use a multimedia device, have high-speed Internet and an SVOD service. Around 70% of this group subscribe to a service such as Netflix or Hulu, compared with just 64% of dependent adults and 58% of those starting a family. This group also watches the least amount of content and spends the most time out of their home.

Of those with access to video streaming services, Netflix is the most popular option.


Those in the starting a family group are more likely to have a DVR in their home; they are also more likely to own a DVD player and a tablet. This group of millennials does not just watch the most content overall; it also watches the most live content.

You can see that although millennials are often grouped together as one demographic group their viewing habits can be very different. The report also looked at the viewing habits of adults overall and found that adults watched an average of 4:27 per day of live TV; this figure was down by twenty minutes from the figures of two years earlier. Usage of recording devices and game consoles has remained fairly static, whereas the use of connected TV devices has risen to 11 minutes per day from 4 minutes per day two years ago. This increase has only been surpassed by the increase in the use of smartphones which underwent a 31-minute usage increase when looking at the 2015 figures in comparison to the 2013 figures.

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