Netflix Clings to Lead in Teens’ Video Time Amid Streaming Competition

October 26, 2022

Netflix continues to hog the largest share of teens’ estimated daily video viewing time, according to the latest installment of Piper Sandler’s semi-annual Taking Stock with Teens survey. On average, teens estimated spending almost one-third (32% share) of their daily video consumption with the platform, in line with the year-earlier period.

That was enough to keep the lead over YouTube, which happens to be the favorite brand among teens’ slightly-older counterparts, Gen Z adults. In this latest edition of Piper Sandler’s survey, teens estimated spending 29% of their daily video time with YouTube. That’s down slightly from 30% at the same time last year, but signals a greater distance from the 37% average achieved in the Fall of 2019.

The trend lines appear to show a slow decline in share of daily viewing time allocated to both YouTube and Netflix. Even so, as of this latest survey they combine for an estimated 61% share of teens’ daily video hours. More broadly, these two video platforms combine for half of connected TV viewing hours among the general population, per recent research.

Another video platform in decline among teens – and in a much worse state than YouTube and Netflix – is cable TV. Teens estimated averaging just 5% of their daily video time with cable TV, down from 6% at the same time last year, 9% in the Fall of 2020, and 12% in the Fall of 2019.

Moreover, 43% of teens said they do not have cable TV in their household, representing a new survey peak. For context, that’s more than double the share (20%) who said they didn’t have cable TV in their household 5 years ago, in the Fall of 2017.

That suggests that recent trends in video viewing preferences are unlikely to abate – and are likely instead to accelerate. In a recent survey, 18-34-year-olds were 3 times more likely to say they turn Netflix (38%) on first than live TV (from an MVPD – 12%) when they want to watch something on TV.

So which platforms are picking up the slack as YouTube and cable TV shed some share of teens’ video time? HBO Max is a leading contender here, now rivaling cable TV with an estimated 5% share of daily video viewing time, up from 2% a couple of years earlier. Amazon Prime has also picked up a little to now account for 4% share.

Meanwhile, the combination of Hulu (8%), Disney+ (7%) and other streaming platforms (6%) comprise a full 21% share of teens’ daily video time.

About the Data: The Fall 2022 findings are based on a survey of 14,500 US teens with an average age of 15.8 and an average household income of $66,497.

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