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Word-of-mouth continues to be the leading way by which teens & Millennials (13-34) – as well as the greater population at-large – discover new movies, TV shows or other full-length video content. That’s according to a recent report [download page] from Nielsen, which compared the video discovery sources of younger Americans to the broader population.

Word-of-mouth also topped the list of adults’ video discovery sources in previous research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

TV ads promoting various programming were also a key source of discovery for respondents to the CTA study, as they are in Nielsen’s survey. Almost half (46%) of the people (13+) surveyed for the report indicated that they had found full-length video content as a result of commercials, ads and/or trailers seen on TV.

But for the youngest group (13-34), TV ads were not quite as influential as another vehicle: social media. Indeed, while just 29% of the survey’s respondents overall reported having discovered video through social media, that figure jumped to 45% among teens and Millennials.

That brings to mind research from Deloitte in which social recommendations topped TV ads in stated purchase influence for respondents aged 14-33.

Social media’s influence on video decisions has been explored in other studies, too. Research from Digitalsmiths, for example, indicate that more than 4 in 10 adults have decided to watch a TV show or movie purely because of the buzz it has received on social media. That figure has climbed slowly over time.

Meanwhile, ads or trailers seen at the movies or online tend to drive video decisions for more teens & Millennials (close to 4 in 10) than respondents overall (slightly fewer than one-third).

1 in 4 Has Live Streamed Content

Separately, Nielsen’s report examines live streaming of video content, finding that 1 in 4 respondents ages 13 and older have done so. Once again, teens are leading the way, with almost twice as many (45%) saying they have done so.

Among those general population respondents who have live streamed, the most common content streamed is a regular season sporting event (57%), with TV shows (48%) and championship sporting events (47%) not far behind. Some have also streamed awards shows (42%) and news events (33%).

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 1,998 US general population respondents ages 13 and older. Additional responses were collected for 13-34-year-olds and Hispanics, such that there were 1,030 respondents aged 13-34.

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