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Millennials Favor Netflix, OTT, Not Demo-Targeted Services

Looking for the next MTV in the new digital video world? Digital video for young millennials could be YouTube, or other easy-to-access, ad-supported digital video platforms.

Apparently, that is not totally the case.

According to one survey, Netflix is the choice place for video for millennials. (And it's also a choice for older TV viewers as well.)

This isn’t the mid-1990s. Perhaps audience segmentation into different networks -- or separately branded, over-the-top digital video platforms  -- is an old thing.

A survey of 2,500 people from Cowen & Co., an investment management company, says that almost 40% of respondents, ages 18-24, used Netflix most often to view video content. YouTube was next at 17%; basic ad-supported cable around 13% (Hello, MTV!); Hulu, 7.6%; and broadcast TV, 7.5%.

Those surveyed answering this question: “Which platforms do you use most often to view video content on TV?”

Looking at all respondents, Netflix was still on top at 27%. Basic cable was next at 20%, followed by broadcast at 18%; and YouTube at 11%.

Cowen’s results may not mean much to TV analysts. Longtime TV research data -- especially data from Nielsen -- would point to many individual broadcast networks taking top positions.

Still, some of this data may suggest how young millennials respond to specific media and video brands -- especially those looking to target them.

Remember FullScreen? It was a new OTT that specifically targeted young Netflix-leaning viewers. The joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group -- launched in the spring of 2016 -- closed down barely a year and half later, in November 2017.

FullScreen tried to attack its rival on price. Where Netflix charges round $11 to $12 per month. FullScreen charged at $4.99/month.

NBCUniversal's Seeso -- a comedy-based OTT with NBC “Saturday Night Live” and other young-comedy content -- also made a push. It started in January 2016 and closed in November 2017. It also was modestly priced.

So what is the secret? Netflix doesn’t specifically target young viewers; and neither does YouTube or Hulu.

Maybe the best big video OTT brands have under-the-radar, audience-segmented strategies. Of course, many would say that all digital media is primarily for young millennials these days. That could be the real answer.

1 comment about "Millennials Favor Netflix, OTT, Not Demo-Targeted Services".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 6, 2018 at 12:56 p.m.

    Wayne, the notion that Netflix is a young adult's channel---meaning 18-24s or even 18-34s----is a myth. The primary viewing thrust seems to be somewhere in the 25-54 range where frequency of viewing is concerned. As for the Cowan study, this is the expected finding from such questionning and I'm surprised that Netflix didn't score much higher---like 75%---as being the channel used "most often" to view video content. However if you look at meter evidence from comScore, you will find that a typical Netflix subscribing home tunes in its content about once every two days and some homes aren't even "reached" on a monthly basis. Overall, Netflix has only a 6-7 share of all viewing and even if this rises to around 10% for younger-middle aged adults this is not a dominant situation compared to the broadcast TV networks taken collectively, whose share is roughly 15% or basic cable which leads everyone, collectively, with about 50%.

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