12% of Millennials Eschew Traditional TV For Streaming Options (And Many More Intend To)

June 24, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Men | Television | Women | Youth & Gen X

pivot-TV-Consumption-Methods-Millennials-June2013Some Millennials are accessing TV content solely via broadband, and the majority of those don’t have any plans to return to pay-TV, reports pivot in a recent study [pdf] conducted by Beagle Insight and Miner & Co. Studio. The researchers set out to spotlight the 18-34-year-old market for TV content, segmenting respondents into distinct groups depending on their method of consuming TV content and future inclinations.

The 3 main segments in the study were:

  • “TV traditionalists” (set-top box TV, TV+DVR, TV+DVDs);
  • “Cross-Platformers” (set-top box TV, streaming TV, laptops, tablets, phones); and
  • “Broadbanders” (streaming TV, laptops, tablets, phones).

In the 18-34 demo, among those who have broadband access, 13% counted as Broadbanders, streaming TV to their broadband-powered TVs, PCs, laptops, and mobile devices without a traditional TV service. That 13% figure was a combination of 8% who are “Independent Broadbanders,” planning to stay away from set-top box TV subscriptions, and 5% who are “Pay TV Craving Broadbanders,” intending to return to a pay-TV subscription.

Given that 91% of the 18-34 age group has broadband access, that translates to 12% of the 18-34 population as a whole counting as Broadbanders, without a traditional pay-TV subscription.

That number is poised to see rapid growth, per the report. Among 18-34-year-olds with broadband access, a significant 27% are categorized as “Straying Cross-Platformers.” This group currently streams TV and has a pay-TV subscription, but intends to become Broadbanders one day, cutting the proverbial cord. (That 27% is significantly larger than the 5% who are currently Broadbanders and expect to return to a pay-TV subscription.)

Interestingly, 18-34-year-old females with broadband access are far more likely than their male counterparts to count as Broadbanders, relying on streaming only (16% vs. 9%). But over time, that gender discrepancy might smooth out. That’s because a greater proportion of these females are looking to return to pay TV (6% vs. 3%), while a smaller proportion are looking to cut the cord and rely solely on streaming options (24% vs. 29%).

Looking at the current demographics of Broadbanders (relying on streaming only), the study shows that they tend to be younger than the average 18-34-year-old, skew female (64%), live in smaller households, and have a smaller average household income. Two of those attributes (youth, small households) showed up in Nielsen’s recent profile of its new “Zero-TV households,” too.

A detailed analysis of traditional TV consumption trends among America’s youth can be found here.

About the Data: The data is based on interviews of 2,500 adults aged 18-49, with supplemental interviews (n=310) conducted to specifically profile Millennial (18-34) Broadbanders.

Participants were representative by age and gender, were required to have high-speed internet service (at home or mobile), and were required to be the current decision-maker or share in the decision for services.

Universe estimates based on the US Census and Pew Internet & American Life Project, Post-Election Survey, Nov/Dec 2012.


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