Summertime Viewing: Media and Entertainment Survey

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Summertime and the Viewing is Easy

While watercooler TV shows are on hiatus, networks are still churning out programming for their summer lineups – after all, TV is still a priority for them, no matter the season. But are viewers tuning in during the summer months?

Turns out, with people looking to beat the heat and traveling, watching shows – new and old – give them that perfect activity to pass the time.

Consumer insights platform, Fuel Cycle, surveyed individuals to find out summer TV trends including viewing preferences, who people are typically watching shows with, what genre is their go-to during the summer and which shows they’re most excited to watch – to name a few.

Key points from the survey

  • During the summer people are looking for a good laugh
    • Over a third of respondents (39%) say they are more likely to watch comedy shows over drama, sci-fi/fantasy, reality, and romance genres

  • People are feeling social this time of year
    • Respondents are choosing to watch TV with their family (27%), friends (13%) and significant others (21%) versus flying solo (31%) this summer

  • Instead of soaking up the sun, people are looking to sulk in the AC and catch up on their shows
    • The majority of people (78%) use the summer to catch up on TV shows that have previously aired

  • Respondents are watching more TV in June, July, August, and September
    • 73% of people said they’re watching TV in the summer more so than other seasons specifically because they’re traveling and have more downtime
Mai Kang, Associate VP of Research Operations at Fuel Cycle shares her thoughts on the study.   
Q: What was the biggest surprise when conducting the research? 

A: The research indicates that a majority of consumers are going to watch more TV in the summer. While this may make sense as people tend to have more time during the summer, especially as kids are out of school, the TV industry releases new shows in the fall by design. It is known that fewer people tend to watch TV during the summer since they are vacationing or spending more time watching summer movies.

This can mean two things:

  1. What people say they do vs. what they will actually do is different
  2. This study was conducted among Gen Z/Millennials, which is only a part of the TV watching population. These folks have a higher consumption of subscription services like Netflix, which is less seasonal.
Q: Were the results what you expected? 

A: The research indicates that a majority of people use the summer to catch up on TV shows that have previously aired. This is as expected, as summer for cable TV is dominated by re-runs and reality TV vs. new seasons which air during the fall and spring.

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