Survey: Live TV Is Losing Appeal Among Millennials

Millennials watch more time-shifted programs (55 percent) than live TV (45 percent) compared with older viewers who prefer watching live TV over time-shifted content by a three to two margin, according to a new study from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

The study also found that the 18 to 34 age group is not adverse to getting “you might like” recommendations from content providers, and that one in four Americans say they have discovered new shows through such predictive recommendations. In particular, eight in 10 millennials (79 percent) say they have clicked on and watched recommended shows and credit advertisements (70 percent) and recommendations (67 percent) for helping them learn about new content.

"Millennials clearly lead the pack in consuming streaming content — watching it when and where they want and, often, at the advice of predictive recommendations," said Steve Koenig, senior director of market research at CTA. "The influence of artificial intelligence, machine learning and widespread connectivity enables rapid discovery of new content and allows every generation to consume it how they want."

As for advertising, only 38 percent of consumers who watch ad-supported programming say they watch an entire ad without being required “all or most of the time.” And when watching an ad is required before a show begins, 57 percent say they ignore it. For programs where watching an entire ad is not required, 66 percent say they watch only until the "skip ad" option is available.

Among all consumers who watch ad-supported programming, millennials are the only ones who indicate a willingness to share personal information beyond interests and hobbies.

Other key findings related to viewer tolerance for ads include:

  • 67 percent of all consumers don't mind sharing their viewing habits with websites/apps they access often
  • 64 percent prefer content networks know their viewing habits so they can make relevant recommendations
  • 62 percent prefer content networks know their preferences so they can show relevant ads
“No matter how strongly content appeals to consumers, there are limits on how far they will go to engage," Koenig said.

Traveler's picture

I'm 50+ and the only live tv I still watch is news. Everything else is DVR or Roku.