One in 10 Young Adults Watches Online TV Each Week

December 1, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Email | Media & Entertainment | Technology | Television | Youth & Gen X

More than one in 10 (11%) young adults age 18-34 now watches TV online at least once a week, and these internet-TV watchers also spend an extra hour each day with media compared with their same-age counterparts, according to new data from Knowledge Networks.

Specifically, the 18-to-34 “leading-edge media group” – defined by their increased weekly viewing of TV programs online – has grown from 10% of the overall age group in Fall 2007 to 12% in Spring 2008, Knowledge Networks said. This group spends 80% more time online than the general 18-to-34 population, and 16% more time (about 1.25 hours per day more) with media in general.


This leading-edge media group of 18-34s are also much more likely to belong to and use social networks.

Other key findings among this group:

  • Daily time spent with the internet and TV is about equal – about 3.5 hours for each
  • Almost half (46%) belong to one or more social networks – indexing at 177 vs. the general 18-to-34 population . This activity consumes 19% of their online time, vs. 12% for the general 18-to-34 population
  • Instant messaging accounts for 16% of the TV-online group’s internet time (compared with 12% for all 18-to-34s)
  • Email was the most used of five specific online activities at 19%, the same proportion of time spent as the general 18-to-34 group.

In addition, the data indicates that, while the 18-to-34 TV-online group is ahead of the curve in internet use, it is mostly conventional in other characteristics:


  • 58% go to the movies in an average month, compared with 53% of all 18-to-34 consumers.
  • 81% have gone to a fast food restaurant in the past month, compared with 87% of the general 18-to-34 population.
  • 63% own a videogame system, vs. 57% of the general population.

However, the 18-to-34 year olds who watch TV online weekly are more likely to own an MP3 player. Some 62% say they do, compared with less than half (45%) of all 18-to-34s.

“For the most part, the TV-online viewers are not trading one medium for another; they are just adding a big helping of Internet time,” said said Bob DeFelice, VP for client service at Knowledge Networks. “We know that a ‘platform-agnostic’ approach – one in which content is accessible many places, at the user’s demand – will be an essential ingredient of reaching young adults.”

About the research: Knowledge Networks’ MultiMedia Mentor offering uses year-round surveys to collect information about consumers’ time spent with eight key media and enables the analysis of media habits of product users and other target groups.


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