Millennials’ TV Viewing Habits–Live TV? Not So Much

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Symphony Advanced Media (SymphonyAM), a data technology and research firm that passively measures integrated cross-media consumption, announced the results from its mid-Fall television season monitoring.

Insights upend pre-established expectations of Fall season viewing for networks and advertisers by revealing that Millennials only watch Live TV 30% of the time, with an additional 30% of their time spent viewing programs via over-the-top (OTT), video-on-demand (VOD) beyond 3 and DVR platforms beyond 7.

“Consumer behavior shifted significantly during the 2015 Fall season, confirming that the viewing of TV and video today is officially disconnected from the Live+7 currency,” said Charles Buchwalter, President and CEO of SymphonyAM (pictured top left). “Consumers watch programs across multiple platforms and devices beyond the seven-day viewing window, and this trend is accelerating. Armed with this data, networks and advertisers can now engage consumers in novel ways.”

Hello Hulu

Additionally, SymphonyAM’s data found that Hulu ranks highest for time-shifted network programming, and that average audience rating (AA) per episode can increase more than 50% the Live+7 when measuring for Live+35.

Based on TV program demographic targeting, networks with young-adult programs, such as FOX and CW, saw the most viewing time spent outside of traditional currency (Live/DVR7/VOD3).

Nearly one quarter of all Millennial viewing time was driven by OTT. SymphonyAM data also found that FOX viewers gravitated to VOD viewing, whereas CBS viewers, who skew older, had the highest Live and DVR7 viewing.

“With a growing number of viewers using new platforms to access our programming, it’s key to our success that we understand new consumption behaviors,” said Colleen Fahey Rush, EVP and Chief Research Officer of Viacom Media Networks.

Much of the change in viewing is due to the advent of DVR, Roku, VOD, Hulu and Netflix. Overall, Hulu is the top choice for Millennials outside of Live and DVR viewing. With Hulu redirecting CBS’ primetime viewers to the CBS website, SymphonyAM also found that CBS’ app and website saw approximately double the share of viewing duration than those of other broadcast networks’ streaming channels.

Video On Demand–A Favorite

The largest impact appears to be with VOD viewing, which includes programming accessed through a multichannel-video-programming-distributor (MVPD) set-top box and a provider’s app or website.

According to the SymphonyAM insights, the top 20 episodes audience rating from L+SD to Live35 Days across all platforms among Millennials saw an average increase of 38% ratings growth after L7 Days.

ABC and FOX were the most present on this list, driven by three episodes of Quantico and four episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The premiere of Quantico showed the highest rating increase representing more than 50% growth from L7 to L35.

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