Gen Z and Millennial Consumers Account for 39% of All Out-of-Home TV Viewing

June 5, 2018

Young people are watching less traditional TV in the home – that much is clear. But new data from Nielsen indicates that they haven’t abandoned their interest in linear TV. Instead, in many cases, they’re tuning in away from the home, and providing significant audience lifts across networks and genres.

Indeed, young consumers play an outsized role in out-of-home TV viewing, per Nielsen’s report, which analyzed such viewing during 2017. Gen Z and Millennial consumers collectively accounted for 39% of all out-of-home viewing during the year, compared to 25% of national in-home viewing.

What’s interesting to see from the analysis is that youth’s share of out-of-home viewing rises in key genres that are not traditionally at the core of their viewing. That’s particularly the case for News, which typically has stronger appeal among older generations.

Nielsen’s data indicates that Gen Z and Millennial viewers comprised fully 27% of the out-of-home news audience, compared to just 10% of the in-home news audience. Gen Xers also over-index in out-of-home news viewing, representing almost one-quarter of viewers (23%) in comparison to their 18% share of in-home news viewing.

A similar pattern plays out with sports, too, as Gen Z and Millennial viewers accounted for 45% of out-of-home sports viewing (as compared to 39% of all out-of-home viewing).

Broadcast Networks See Big Lift in Millennial Audiences

Last year, Nielsen reported that out-of-home viewing provided a disproportionately large lift in audience among youth, and the same seems to be true of this latest data, which is based on a longer period of analysis.

Across networks, out-of-home viewing resulted in a 4% lift in audiences over in-home viewership. But that figure was higher among Gen Z (+7%) and Millennial (+6%) viewers, as older generations seem less likely to gravitate to out-of-home viewing.

The greater lift among younger viewers was true across networks, and certainly more pronounced for some than others. Broadcast networks, for example, gained an impressive 13% lift in Gen Z audiences and 10% lift in Millennial audiences when factoring in out-of-home viewing, compared to a 5% lift across all viewers ages 6 and older.

Sports networks also enjoyed double-digit increases in younger viewers when factoring in out-of-home viewing, such as that taking place in areas such as airports, bars, and gyms. News networks were close behind, with out-of-home providing a 9% lift among Gen Z consumers and 8% lift among Millennials.

Nielsen notes that out-of-home audiences are also more likely to be affluent than in-home audiences. With out-of-home being a “viable way to reach Gen Z and Millennials” due to their disproportionately high viewing, this seems as though it will be something to consider in future media plans.

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