Over Half Of 13-24s In Study Use Ad Blockers

A new report on what young people watch, from Defy Media, says YouTube is their first choice, followed by Netflix.

But this report also says that 52% of them use ad blockers, not so much because they hate the ads but because they hate the interruption.

The Defy report shows that people in their study--age 13 to 24--get the basic idea that ads support content. Youth are “more receptive when they understand how ads help celebs continue to create the videos youth crave” and 63% understand their favorites need the ad revenue to keep going, while 58% say they “don’t mind watching ads to support their favorite digital celebs.” (Defy, of course, is home to some of YouTube's biggest draws, including the  Smosh and Clevver channels.)

It’s not reflected with statistics in the published Defy Youth Video Diet report, but the survey includes the comment of a 19-year old woman that suggests not everybody is so totally sold on being totally sold: 

“I think YouTubers can get so caught up making money that they lose their personality,” says Amanda “When it strays too far from that I wonder: Are you just doing it because you were paid to sponsor it?” Would she really be surprised by the answer?

There were 54 study participants, in Raleigh-Durham, Seattle and Chicago, who kept journals that charted and remarked on the videos they watched, and researcher talked more intently with half of them. Defy and partners Hunter Qualitative and Kelton Global also added an online survey to reach 1,300 more.

YouTube is the video first source of choice for 85% of the study group; Netflix follows at 66% and cable/satellite TV is third with 62%. But Facebook, with 53% and fourth on the list, shows how rapidly and successfully it has put itself in the video business, at least with young users.

Video is a huge part of their lives, that’s for sure. This group consumes, on average, 12.1 hours per week of free video--ranging from YouTube and Vine to Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat and Instagram. They watch another 8.8 hours a week of subscription fare and 8.2 hours of cable. The study says 15% of their viewing is primarily of friends and family.

When? Well, 65% say they watch some videos before work or school, and 42% say they watch at work or school, and 67% while they are trying to fall asleep. But, like the rest of the video-watching world, 83% say they watch after dinner. LIke most people, they also watch to escape boredom or waste time (77%) but 47% say they watch “to learn something.”

On that last point, a woman pictured in the report proclaims, “I depend entirely on tutorials. . .and if I get stuck on my projects just because I didn’t have the right YouTube tutorials, I’d be really mad.”

I’ve never seen a stat that tells me who pays for younger viewers’ content needs; surprisingly, this study suggests 47% pay all or some of the cost of their pay video bill, topped by 56% who say they pay all or some of the HBO/Showtime tab, compared to 55% for Hulu, 50% for Amazon and 41% for Netflix. Only 37% pay for all or part of the cable/satellite bill.

But overall, those stats say to me hat YouTube Red and the new Fullscreen services should not have an extraordinarily hard time getting sufficient millions of younger people to sign on.

The “ financially independent” people in the study--probably the older people in the survey living away from their parents--have a different look.  Eighteen percent of them say they don’t subscribe to cable/satellite because they “can afford but cost not worthwhile” but  24% say they just can’t afford to do it and 12% don’t do it because they think cable and satellite aren’t portable enough. In all 40% say there are less expensive options. Those are statistics that ought to keep cable/satellite operators up at night (and I don’t mean watching videos on their smartphones).


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1 comment about "Over Half Of 13-24s In Study Use Ad Blockers".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, March 31, 2016 at 3:35 p.m.

    Back in the days of Napster, my students "knew" that not paying for music affected their favorite artists' incomes, but they "hated" the expense, which was not unlike hating the interruption. Humans are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Unsolicited marketing messages are a palpable form of pain, despite the media industry's denial. So, too, is subscribing.

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