TiVo Research Says Millennials Like TV, Just Not Necessarily From A Network

In the earliest days of USA Today, it created this cringe-worthy headline: “Men, Women: We’re Still Different,” a ridiculous distillation for only a semi-ridiculous story about the basic ways men and women look at life, love, material goods and so on.  

Today, TiVo released highlights from its 2013 Millennial Video Entertainment survey that disclosed, in a nutshell, that for millennials, TV is still a powerful drug, but that they are more prone to access what they watch from online streaming services. Whoop-de-do.

In this survey, millennials said they spend 36% of their viewing time watching conventional TV shows and sports but TiVo said, they “primarily access video” from subscription services or TV channel apps and Web sites.

Nothing in this survey raises to the level of “startling,” but some of it serves as further confirmation of trends documented nearly daily. Still, it’s interesting to read that 72% of millennials say they use free online streaming sources like YouTube, Hulu and network streaming sites, and 60% use subscription-based services like Netflix and HBOGo. Other generations, TiVo reports, only use free and subscription services just 40% of the time.

TiVo says 14% of millennials reported more interest in TV fare, this year over last. In second place was user-generated content, with an 8% bump up

According to this data, viewership of full-length films, live events and even music videos was reported lower by not only millennials, but the other three generations whose habits are far less interesting to everybody. TiVo’s survey downgrades music videos just after Vevo releases data that shows how its music video views skyrocketed last year, particularly on mobile devices.

Such are the ins and outs of self-serving research, and of course, most of these studies are on some level advertising just dressed up as research. If it was rock salt you’re supposed to take industry studies with, there wouldn’t be a passable street in Manhattan or Chicago this winter.

Still, the TiVo research also suggests what some people in the biz think may happen sooner than later: If you are attracting millennials to Web-based services, it might make sense for the big networks and studios to begin producing more programming specifically for those sites, particularly as measurement of all that viewing, on all different devices, improves.

I keep waiting for one of the networks—cable or broadcast—to thrust ahead with a full-blown separate schedule of programs online that could be at least at first, shorter, cheaper and also riskier. Apparently, if this TiVo survey is right, there’s an audience waiting.   

1 comment about "TiVo Research Says Millennials Like TV, Just Not Necessarily From A Network ".
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  1. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, February 20, 2014 at 12:46 p.m.

    Here's an interesting reality... Studies are clear that much of the 64% spent apart from "conventional TV shows" has been added viewing time. I see it with my son who uses video on his iphone to fill time the way that magazines and radiio used to fill time when I was younger. So they say they get the majority of that 100% streamed? Of course. 64% is a majority. What this study doesn't show (a) a drop in conventional TV viewing nor (b) that there's a big shift of conventional TV toward streaming. It simply doesn't show either way.

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