Traditional TV Viewing Dips 14% Among Millennials

Traditional TV viewership has been declining -- most dramatically among younger viewers, specifically those 18-24.

Magna Global says this narrow target of young viewers dropped 14% this season through October versus last season for live, DVR and VOD usage from a year ago. These viewers are just watching 4.7 hours of prime time per week.

Magna Global adds that overall, NFL TV ratings this season are down across all networks — with the declines largely coming at the hands of 18-24 viewers. Those viewers are down 19% on NBC; 15% on NFL Network; 13% for Fox, 13%; 12% for CBS; and 10% for ESPN.

But TV supporters should note that traditional television viewing still makes up 68% of all video time for adults 18-24 — at 19.4 hours per week. 

Young 18-24 viewers are increasingly moving to new digital media areas. Around 15% of 18-24 homeowners are broadband-only homes. This compares to 4% broadband-only residences for all U.S. homes.



Magna Global estimates that TV viewing through a video-game console has grown 9% this year among 18-24 viewers, with viewing on a mobile devices up 36%. Adults 18-24 spend over 9.5 hours per week consuming video on non-traditional platforms: PC, mobile and OTT.

Other older viewing groups have also witnessed declines in traditional TV usage, although not as steep.

Viewers 25-34 are down 8% to 6.7 hours prime-time hours per week, while 35-54 viewers fell 5% to 8.4 hours. Even older groups are slipping: 55-64 viewers are down 3% to 10.7 hours per week and those 65+ slipped 1% to 12.6 hours per week.

3 comments about "Traditional TV Viewing Dips 14% Among Millennials".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 5, 2014 at 12:49 p.m.

    Assuming that the Magna Global analysis is based on Nielsen data, we should remember that primetime is only one of TV's dayparts. While it garners the largest amount of viewing, we're only talking about three hour per evening. Typically most viewers do 70% of their viewing outside of prime, so before we conclude that TV is losing or gaining ground as a medium among any particular demographic segment, it would be wise to take a look at the totality of exposure, not just primetime.

  2. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, December 5, 2014 at 1:25 p.m.

    The Pivot Research report on US Ad Forecast for 2015 echos negative audience momentum for TV based on a more comprehensive set of touch points. The question still remains is this cyclical or secular?

  3. Adam Hartung from spark partners, December 11, 2014 at 9:24 a.m.

    Everyone knows that traditional TV viewership is declining. Yet media company leaders are slow to react, Nielsen is rapidly becoming irrelevant and even CPG CMOs are not adjusting to reality quickly enough. Forbes says this is an issue of leaders who simply are out of touch with obvious trends

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