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How The Next Generation is Watching TV

A new report from NATPE and the Consumer Electronics Association reveals some interesting insights into how Millennials are viewing media. If you’re a program producer, these studies are critical to know where your programs should be available. Some of the findings:

How they prefer to watch TV programs:
– 55% on a traditional TV set
– 29% on a laptop
– 16% mobile and other devices

Top sources for watching full length TV shows:
– 58% – Netflix
– 46% – DVR
– 46% – Live TV
– 36% – Youtube

Top Digital Sources for TV shows:
– 40% – Netflix
– 26% – YouTube
– 25% – TV Network websites
– 22% – Sites offering free TV
– 12% – Network or service provider apps

Other findings:
– 71% have streamed full episodes of shows in the last 6 months
– 56% watch more TV because of streaming

Any surprises here?

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21 Comments

  1. No surprises. Big takeaway is Netflix is an ad free platform. Marketers and creators need to realize with so many consuming non ad interrupted content, advertisers need to abandon the interruption paradigm. The next phase of great ads and marketing will not interrupt content they will be the content. Compelling brand stories will be the only way to reach Millinials. Bottom line, If your company or organization can’t tell a story and connect with an audience. They are not going to be a company very long

    Great post Phil. Thanks

    1. Jason, you’re not alone on this thought. There are some mainstream secular shows on TV right now that deploy this strategy. The product placement is so blatant and “in your face” that it really almost takes away from the story. Case in point, the TV show White Collar. I suddenly feel an inexplicable urge to purchase a new Ford vehicle that I can talk to…

  2. This is great info and I’ve seen more and more “big” players moving towards this solution for their viewers. Sadly, I recently talked with a producer who was trying to get some Christian content approved for viewing on Netflix and was basically told that it was never going to happen. They aren’t going to to allow any kind of “religious/faith based” programming on their network. YouTube has been a practical solution for most ministries but it’s a tough place to get discovered. I’d love to hear some thoughts on how we get our message out to the larger audience of Millennials. Our real struggle will be funding these efforts because unlike secular programming we can’t benefit by product placement within our programming. Or, at least not yet.

    1. Our DVD comedy series “Thou Shalt Laugh” is on Netflix, so some Christian content is getting on there. But you raise a good question – I’d like to find out what their guidelines are…

      1. This is a great comment Truett. I have never really given it much thought about religious programming on netflix. I too would be interested to know what the guidelines are. It is clear that netflix is the overwhelming favorite among millennials yet is apparently off limits

    2. Veggietales is on there too. I suppose it’s possible that Netflix hasn’t caught on that it’s faith based. I won’t tell them if you don’t tell them.

    3. There are actually quite a number of Christian films available on Netflix if one takes the time to look. I don’t think it’s a matter of policy to reject Faith based films, just the ones that are unwatchable. To name a few recent films available: Grace Unplugged, Saving Winston, What If, October Baby, Fireproof, and the list goes on.

  3. What’s shocking to me is how many are watching live tv. I suppose that may be due to those who have cut the cord and watch over the air antenna, but I know very few that watch anything live anymore.

    1. I think there’s still a huge group out there (including me) that will plop down on the sofa just to run through the channels and see what’s on. But for long term viewing, I eventually find my way to my library on the DVR… 🙂

  4. Fascinating stuff Phil! The report shows how this space is evolving and changing quickly as connectivity increases across all devices, and Internet speeds are becoming faster and cheaper for consumers. I’ve heard a lot of people say that users have a short attention span online. What is more appropriate would be to say that users have a low tolerance for bad or poorly produced content. Your post is all about watching “full episodes” online. That’s 22 or 45+ minutes of program; not to mention that “binge-watching” Netflix for hours at a time is now a thing. People will watch content online for hours if it is good. We have to put content where the people are, but we also have to create something worth watching.

    1. Agreed. This is about watching full-length episodes. In my case, 90% of this content I will watch through Netflix or Apple TV on my wide screen TV at home. Personally, I rarely watch a full TV program or movie on anything else (unless I’m on a plane).

  5. Yeah, one surprise. iTunes has 800 million users. How did iTunes/Apple TV place in this? Or are people not using iTunes as much as we thought?

  6. It is incredible (and awesome) to me how powerful Netflix has become. From aggregating content to producing massive shows like Marco Polo in such a short amount of time is remarkable. And exciting for those of us who dream of finding outlets for great stories we would want human beings to actually see.

  7. These stats pretty much have me pegged. I don’t have traditional TV service. Instead, I run an HDMI from my iPad or laptop and watch Netflix and Hulu. I’d better start clearing a spot next to my old horse drawn buggy, type writer, fax machine and home phone…here comes the traditional TV.

  8. This is so informative…. Netflix has changed the game with their ability to use viewer analytic data to produce targeted TV shows, like House of Cards!

    By the way Phil, are you using the “get noticed” theme for WordPress now? Looks nice!

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