Watching TV On Other Devices: Will 18-Year-Olds Still Want To Watch On Smaller Screens?

Current TV industry numbers may give TV executives some comfort about the future of the business -- whether observing legacy TV, streaming, digital or other platforms.

But this should not make anyone complacent. Many polls can be offered in this regard -- especially in relation to the word -- and the definition of -- "TV."

According to a CivicScience poll conducted in September,  the largest group of viewers  -- 28% -- watch between two and four hours/day and 27% watch from one to two hours.

This seems to make sense when looking at other estimates. For example, in 2023, Statista projected the average U.S. adult will spend two hours and 33 minutes watching TV each day.

More fringe viewers, measured by CivicScience data, go this way: Those who watch one hour or less came in at 16%. On the other end of the scale, viewers who watch 4 to 6 hours came in at 13%. The highest consumption shows more than six hours at 9%.



These results come from 4,251 respondents for the period from September 14-21, 2022, weighted by those 18 years and older.

But then we get down to some specifics: Where do you watch TV? The first choice, not surprisingly, was still the living room -- at 57%.

The study then drilled down further, asking: “What devices do you use on a regular basis to watch TV/movies?” and added to select all that apply.

While a “TV set” got a 82% result, respondents must have also felt compelled to add other devices: 25% also cited a “smartphone"; 20% cited “laptop computer,” 16% cited “tablet,” and 14% cited a “desktop computer.”

Digging deeper. When asked TV set users who “regularly” watch TV on other devices, the smartphone got 21%; laptop, 16%; tablet, 13%; and desktop 13%.

All to say while many keep talking about the durability of TV we should always remind ourselves that whatever there is a screen, there is a strong chance content can be increasingly consumed. 

What is the growth potential of the “smaller” screen?

Will consumers continue to be more comfortable with this behavior in future years -- or will they remain loyal to the big screen?

More importantly, will TV marketers and TV programming executives need to make major changes for those now 18-year-olds, who will be the next generation of major TV users?

Think small? Think big? Think advertising engagement?

Right now we know what we don't know. All eyes are on the watching and waiting game.

1 comment about "Watching TV On Other Devices: Will 18-Year-Olds Still Want To Watch On Smaller Screens?".
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  1. Ben B from Retired, March 27, 2023 at 7:48 p.m.

    I like to watch TV on the big screen and not on a smartphone to a small screen sometimes will watch on a desktop YouTube which is only a couple of times a week if that.

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