In our recent monthly survey on entertainment, we looked into young consumers' spending on everything from TV to the written word, asking them “In an average month, which of the following forms of entertainment do you spend money on?” Their responses paint a clear picture of their disruptive tendencies, and how their spending supports the non-traditional media access that has upended multiple industries. Here are three stats that illustrate their entertainment revolution:
1. Less than half of 18-33 year olds are paying for cable.
We’ve been tracking their shifting media behaviors over time, and in early 2015 we saw weekly Netflix viewing surpass cable viewing. Now, we see those preferences reflected in their spending: only 43% of 18-33 year olds say they are spending on cable/satellite television in an average month. Cable spending increases across age groups, with over half of 30-33 year olds spending on cable monthly. But this isn’t necessarily an indication that Millennial viewers will adopt cable as they age up, it’s actually more likely that younger viewers who are growing accustomed to accessing their media in alternative ways will carry that behavior into adulthood.
2. Over half are spending on an online video subscription.
Digital video services like Netflix and Hulu Plus are more likely to be a part of young consumers’ monthly entertainment budgets than cable, with 56% of 13-33 year olds reporting they spend money on an online video subscription in an average month. Not surprisingly, older Millennials (who have more disposable income and are living on their own) are more likely to be spending on an online video subscription, but 43% of 13-17 year olds do report that they spend on one as well. Looking across races, Caucasian respondents are the most likely to say they are spending on an online video subscription, with 57% saying they do, compared to 49% of young African Americans and 51% of young Hispanics.
3. They’re more likely to spend on streaming services than MP3s and CDs.
Just as MP3s stole the music market away from physical albums, streaming services have now earned more of young consumers’ budgets than MP3s and CDs. Roughly 30% of 13-33 year olds say they spend money on music streaming services in an average month, compared to 25% who say they spend on recorded music on CDs or as digital downloads. African American and Hispanic young consumers are slightly more likely to spend on music services than Caucasians.
Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Sept. 9, 2016, in Engage:Millennials.