Age Gap in Pay-TV vs. SVOD Preference Persists

July 18, 2017

Faced with making a choice between traditional pay-TV and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services, a majority (57%) of dual-service users aged 18-65 would choose the former, according to new survey results from The Diffusion Group (TDG). But there’s a stark difference in how age groups approach that hypothetical approach.

As one might expect, youth are more likely to opt for SVOD services. In fact, almost two-thirds of the 18-24-year-olds surveyed would choose streaming services over traditional pay-TV. Moreover, a majority (54%) of 25-34-year-olds would join them in that decision.

Older adults, though, are more willing to stick with what they grew up with: 61% of 35-44-year-olds express a preference for traditional pay-TV if forced to make a choice, with that figure rising to 71% among 45-54-year-olds and 72% among 55-65-year-olds.

A Resurgence for Pay-TV Among Older Millennials?

TDG ran the same question by dual-service US adult broadband users last year, too.

The results were similar, in that Millennials (18-34) chose SVOD, while each of the older groups chose traditional pay-TV.

Interestingly, though, whereas last year 62% of older Millennials (25-34) reported that they would choose their streaming video service over their pay-TV service, this year that figure dropped to 54%.

Also of note: more 55-64-year-olds this year would choose their streaming service provider (28%) than last year (23%).

It’s entirely possible that these aren’t trends, but rather the vagaries of small sample sizes once segmenting the sample into these small age brackets. (The sample size for 25-34-year-olds this year was 270, while for 55-64-year-olds it was 187.)

The more puzzling of the two unexpected findings is the increased share of 25-34-year-olds who would choose pay-TV, particularly as customer satisfaction with these services remains low and younger groups continue to turn away from linear TV.

It will be worth keeping an eye on this – and perhaps next year’s study will offer more insights…

About the Data: The results are based on a TDG survey of 2,015 US adult broadband users.


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