4 Insights Into How We Choose to Spend Our Entertainment Time

January 24, 2018

Hub Entertainment Research has released a new report entitled “Battle for Share of Mind” – and it contains some interesting data about how people are dividing up their entertainment time, particularly as it relates to video time. Here are 4 interesting takeaways from the report, which is based on a survey of 1,774 people in the US ages 16-74 who watch at least 5 hours of TV per week and have broadband at home.

1. Gaming and Digital Options Are Popular With Youth

As part of its study, Hub asked respondents to estimate the breakdown of their entertainment time between TV shows, movies, social media, online video, gaming, and any other options.

The differences between 18-34-year-olds and those 35 and older were predictable, but nonetheless stark.

It’s clear that watching TV shows is a far more popular pastime for adults 35 and up than for their younger counterparts. In fact, whereas the 35+ crowd spends about half (48%) of its time watching TV shows, 18-34-year-olds only estimate spending a bit more than one-quarter (28%) of their time with TV shows.

The strong differences in TV viewing between youth and older adults are covered comprehensively in MarketingCharts’ State of Traditional TV Viewing report.

Meanwhile, youth (18-34) are spending almost half of their entertainment time with gaming (16%), online video (16%) and social media (15%) combined. These activities represent only about half as much time for older adults, or one-quarter of their estimated media allocation.

2. Live or Aired? Depends on Age, Too

Not only are older adults spending more time with TV shows, but they’re also more apt to be watching them live when aired. Indeed, respondents ages 55 and older estimated spending 61% of their TV viewing time watching shows live when aired, compared to 39% time-shifted.

It was the exact opposite result for 18-34-year-olds, who estimated spending 61% of their TV viewing time watching time-shifted content versus 39% viewing programming live when aired.

MarketingCharts’ analysis of Nielsen data likewise finds time-shifting to be more prevalent among younger than older adults, though in this case it emerged that 25-34-year-olds and 35-49-year-olds allocate the greatest share of their traditional TV viewing time to time-shifting.

Returning to the Hub study, about half of overall time-shifted viewing was attributed to pay-TV sources such as DVR (27%), set-top video-on-demand (15%) and TV Everywhere (10%), with the big 3 subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services accounting for about one-third of time-shifted viewing.

3. Scripted Shows Rule the Roost, Particularly for Women

A different breakdown – this time of various types of TV content – found that respondents to Hub’s survey estimate spending almost half (45%) of their TV time with scripted shows. By comparison, sports occupied an estimated 16% share of TV time, followed by news (15%) and unscripted shows (15%).

Women proved to have a greater preference for scripted shows, estimating 52% of their TV time going to this type of programming, against 37% for men. Overall, women estimated spending two-thirds of their TV time with scripted and unscripted shows, compared to 50% for men, who made up the gap with a much greater share of time spent with sports programming.

4. Each SVOD Has A Different Primary Role to Play

Original programming has taken on added importance for SVODs in recent years as consumers take such programming into consideration when choosing services and often subscribe for specific shows.

This seems to be more of a draw for Netflix than for the other large SVODs, though. In Hub’s study, respondents estimated spending the largest share (37%) of their Netflix time with original shows, with non-original shows (34%) close behind and movies (29%) slightly further behind.

By comparison, Amazon video viewers are dedicated the largest share of their time with that service to movies (39%), with original shows getting a smaller share (27%).

And as for Hulu, it’s primarily a destination for non-original shows (54% of viewing time) as opposed to original shows (24%) or movies (22%).

If you’re keeping count, that means that each service has a different focus for viewers.

Hub notes that, as such, the big 3 are largely complementary, which may explain why people are increasingly subscribing to multiple SVOD services.

An excerpt from the full study can be downloaded here.


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