Millennials are more likely to watch television on broadcast and cable platforms than on streaming services, and they’re more likely to watch shows “live”—at their scheduled times—rather than binge-watching, according to a new survey from the Video Advertising Bureau.
The findings seem counterintuitive in an era with a seemingly limitless supply of television programming available on phones, tablets, smart TVs, and computers, and via streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon. (They’re partially explained by the greater reach of the traditional platforms, but it’s nevertheless an interesting and somewhat surprising outcome from the survey.)
The survey was released this month and conducted online by the firm Research Now in April. There were 1,000 respondents.
“Millennials are often portrayed as less attached to ad-supported TV programming,” the report states. “However, our study confirms a strong emotional (and time) investment in ad-supported TV content. This report quantifies the ways millennials demonstrate their commitment, engagement and passion to TV programming.”
And the bond becomes more valuable because it carries over into pop culture, and has a significant impact on buying decisions by millennials and other adults.
“Millennials love to have in-the-moment conversations about their favorite network and cable TV programs, both in-person and online,” says VAB CEO Sean Cunningham. “Our analysis has shown that on any given night, on average, seven out of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter are about ad-supported TV. When a much-loved program is watched live, the passionate discussion among millennials shows TV is an essential part of their lives.”
Nearly half—44%—of millennials watch their favorite programs on broadcast or cable, a number that is far greater than for other platforms, according to the survey. Netflix is second, with 25% of respondents indicating that platform is their source of favorite programs. Hulu is next, with 12%, followed by Amazon, with 10%. The remaining 8% view programs on other streaming services or other sources.