Millennials Flee Traditional TV

TV networks lost significant viewership over the past year -- especially that of younger adult viewers.

Looking at live program plus seven days of time-shifted viewing from July 2014 to June 2015, viewership at 11 TV networks groups witnessed young 18-34 viewers taking the biggest hit -- down 14% -- 1.2 million fewer viewers, according to MoffettNathanson Research.

For the entire year, TV networks groups sank 7% in overall total average viewership -- a decline of 3.4 million.

After 18-34 viewers, teens 12-17 declined the most -- off 16% (437,000), followed by kids 2-11, which were down 10% (502,000). In terms of the absolute number of viewers, 35-49 viewers declined by the second-highest amount -- 736,000 or 7%. Viewers 50 and older gave up 504,000, down 2%.

Losses for young adult viewers -- in terms of the absolute number of viewers -- were worst at Fox (broadcast and cable networks) down 271,000, off 17%. Viacom was next, off 267,000 and down 19%. NBCUniversal, for all its TV networks, lost 245,000 or 18%; and A&E Networks, slipped 112,000 or 21%.



TV network groups also lost ground with older viewing groups 35-49: A&E sank 19%; Viacom, 13%, and Fox, 12%.

The best viewership performance for TV network groups, in analyzing all viewers, went to CBS -- which was 2% higher when looking at live program plus seven days of time shifting for the year. Next was Scripps Network Interactive, which was flat versus the same time period a year before.

MoffettNathanson notes that independent TV networks were collectively up 6% in total viewers, with much of that gain coming from older skewing networks.

The biggest overall decliners for the year were A&E Network and Viacom each down 17%. Fox was off 11%.

4 comments about "Millennials Flee Traditional TV".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, August 21, 2015 at 12:12 p.m.

    I keep hearing that youth and millennials will magically acquire normal viewing habits once they enter mainstream adulthood, but I have serious doubts. When a habit skips a generation, it is worrisome for legacy media.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 21, 2015 at 12:42 p.m.

    You have a point, Douglas. Traditionally, as people aged they stayed home more, became more sedentary and began to watch more commercial TV fare. It is possible that this may be less true---note, I said less true----than in the past thanks to so many other electronic viewing options which 18-34s have become accustomed to utilizing.

  3. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, August 21, 2015 at 12:46 p.m.

    Network TV expereince does not put the user/viewer in charge like everyehere else they spend time on. Time for linear TV to get itself some innovation unfortunately those Major TV networks are not in a good technology position or have the skill set to do so.

  4. Mai Kok from So What, August 21, 2015 at 5 p.m.

    You old heads are real stupid and dumb and you must be white. Millennials are mostly people of color - not white. And Millennials are very good at adapting and turning technology it into their own. Traditional TV is full of tech limits, lame programming, and way too much white people. So Millennials are turning away to programs that better represent them. And if they HAVE to watch white programming - why pay for it?

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