It might be the golden age of TV, but young people seem to be looking elsewhere for their entertainment. In fact, 13-24-year-olds estimate spending just 17% of their screen-based leisure time watching TV shows, according to a recent study [excerpt download page] from Hub Entertainment Research. That trails both gaming (22%) and non-premium video content (such as TikTok and YouTube; 21%), which combine for more than twice as much (43% share) of their screen time.
By contrast, TV remains central to entertainment for people ages 35 and older, occupying an estimated 43% share of their screen-based leisure time, as opposed to 21% combined for gaming (10%) and non-premium video (11%).
Previous research from Hub likewise found that younger people use more gaming and social sources of entertainment than their older counterparts.
Overall, younger viewers of both online video and TV shows figure they spend almost as much time with the former and the latter each week (13.1 hours and 16.5 hours, respectively), while those ages 35 and up estimate spending almost three times as much time with TV shows than with online video.
Moreover, 51% of 13-24-year-olds say that the time they spend watching online video makes them spend a lot less (26%) or a little less (25%) time watching “regular” TV shows. That impact is much smaller for those ages 35+, among whom only about a fifth (21% share) report a negative impact on regular TV viewing from watching online video.
These shifts are reflected by device usage, also. While 13-24-year-olds devote far more of their total entertainment screen time to smartphones (30%) than MVPD set-top boxes (8%), the opposite is true for those ages 35 and up (12% and 31%, respectively). While the smaller devices are suited to “on-the-go” viewing, three-quarters of entertainment time on both smartphones and tablets occurs in the home rather than out of it, per the report.
Meanwhile, younger respondents also allocate more of their total screen time to social media than their older counterparts, at 15% and 9% share, respectively. TikTok, which is increasingly becoming a destination for search and education among youth, is playing a growing role in youths’ entertainment time. Some two-thirds of 13-24-year-olds have used TikTok in the past week, and 72% who use the app do so every day. Although YouTube – Gen Z’s favorite brand – is used by a greater proportion (81%) of 13-24-year-olds overall, only about half (48%) of YouTube users in that age group watch it every day.
Finally, and perhaps most significantly, among 13-24-year-olds who use both TikTok and YouTube, a slim majority (51%) would choose TikTok over YouTube if they could only have one of the two.
Fore more, download the excerpt of the report here.
About the Data: The results are based on a December 2022 survey of 1,900 US consumers ages 13-74, including 579 ages 13-24.