×

Younger Viewers Watch 2.5 Times More Internet Video Than TV (Study)

YouTube is must-have service for 67% of consumers 13-24 while only 36% cite pay TV, according to Defy Media survey

Teens and young adults still tune in to TV — but they watch considerably more video on YouTube, Netflix and other Internet sources, according to a new study. And even more alarming for the traditional TV biz, most say they can live without cable or satellite television.

Consumers aged 13-24 watch 12.1 hours of video per week on YouTube, social media and other free online sources, and another 8.8 hours weekly on Netflix and other subscription-video services, according to a survey fielded by digital-media firm Defy Media. That’s more than two and a half times the 8.2 hours weekly they spend watching television.

“People want to paint the demise of cable TV as the result of cost or lack of access,” Defy Media exec VP of marketing Andy Tu said. “But this younger demo is saying, ‘The stuff on television isn’t relevant to me.'”

YouTube topped the list of must-have video sources, with 67% of respondents agreeing they “can’t live without” it, followed by Netflix at 51% and social-media services — an aggregate of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Tumblr — at 48%, as video usage continues to rise on those platforms. Only 36% of the Gen Z and millennial consumers said they can’t live without traditional TV, according to Defy’s fourth annual Acumen Report.

Among young consumers who don’t have pay TV, 40% cited less expensive options while 24% said they are simply not interested in the programming on TV, the study found. When financially dependent youths leave home, 56% expect to subscribe to cable or satellite TV compared with 86% who plan to subscribe to Netflix.

YouTube remains the most-viewed video platform among the demo: 85% of respondents said they regularly watch the Google-owned video service. Netflix came in at 66%, followed by TV (62%), Facebook (53%), Instagram (37%), Snapchat (33%), Vine (27%), Hulu (22%) and Amazon Video (19%) and Twitter (19%).

On social media, the Defy study found that the majority of young consumers view video from people they don’t know. Only 14% said they watch videos from friends and family, with 24% saying they watch mostly videos featuring their favorite digital celebs and another 24% viewing videos with people they do not know personally, such as pranks or “fails.” About 11% said they watch video of TV and movie stars on social media.

Of the 13- to 24-year-old consumers surveyed, 77% said digital video serves as a “boredom killer” and 61% said it’s a stress reliever. About 60% said they watch Internet video to stay up to date on what’s trending or new, 47% said it was to learn how to do something and 44% said they use it to fall asleep.

Younger consumers accept advertising in online video — depending on the format. About 58% said they don’t mind watching ads to support their favorite digital stars, according to the Defy study. While 80% prefer a 15-second preroll ads, 53% say a one-minute spot is acceptable. In addition, 89% said a 5-second intro featuring a brand sponsor is always or sometimes OK and 87% approve of product placement in a video (such as digital talent actually demonstrating a product or calling out a sponsor).

Defy Media’s Acumen study was conducted in partnership with Kelton Research and Hunter Qualitative. It comprised an online poll in the fall of 2015 of 1,300 Americans aged 13-24 representative of the U.S. population, as well as a focus group of 54 consumers in the age demo who completed 14-day journals chronicling daily video viewing and opinions.

More Digital

  • Devin Nunes

    Devin Nunes Files $250 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Twitter

    U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against Twitter on Monday, alleging that he has been the victim of hundreds of hate-filled tweets. The suit also takes aim at Liz Mair, a Republican communications consultant who has attacked Nunes on Twitter, and the anonymous accounts “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow.” [...]

  • Reed Hastings Netflix

    Netflix Won't Be Part of Apple's Video Service, CEO Reed Hastings Confirms

    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed at a press event in Los Angeles Monday that his company won’t be taking part in Apple’s upcoming video service. “Apple is a great company,” Hastings said. However, Netflix wanted to control its experience within its own app, which is why it wasn’t working with Apple. “We have chosen not [...]

  • mark Beaven

    If Spotify Is Holding Town Halls for Songwriters, They Must Be Open (Guest Column)

    Earlier this month, Amazon, Google, SiriusXM and Spotify challenged the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to increase the compulsory mechanical rates paid to songwriters by 44% over the next five years. The streamers have come under fierce criticism for the move, which they claim is over the complexities of the CRB’s rules but is widely assumed [...]

  • iHeartMedia Promotes Angel Aristone to Executive

    iHeartMedia Promotes Angel Aristone to Executive VP of Communications

    Angel Aristone has been promoted to executive vice president of communications for iHeartMedia, the company announced today. According to the announcement, Aristone will continue to position iHeart as a media and entertainment leader through proactive strategic communication efforts on both a local and national level. She will also continue to oversee media relations and external [...]

  • UFC 235 Mixed Martial Arts, Las

    All UFC Pay-Per-View Events Moving to ESPN+ Exclusively in U.S. Through 2025

    The UFC — in a major jump to digital away from traditional pay TV — inked an expanded pact with ESPN under which all of the mixed martial arts promoter’s pay-per-view events will be available exclusively on ESPN+ in the U.S. for the next seven years. Under the agreement, the ESPN+ subscription streaming service will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content