Media Life

Millennials Barely Watch Regular TV

Jul 31, 2015  •  Post A Comment

A new study puts a number — a shockingly low one — on how much traditional television is still being viewed by young adults.

Citing the study by entertainment and media research firm SmithGeiger and streaming company Net2TV, Media Life reports: “A mere 18 percent of TV viewing time by adults 18-34 is done through live broadcast or cable TV.”

On the flip side, the study found that 61% of millennials’ viewing time takes place on digital devices such as tablets and smartphones.

“That’s a very high number, considering tablets have only been widely available for five years, and smartphone video quality was spotty up until a few years ago,” Media Life notes.

The report includes an in-depth interview with Seth Geiger, president and co-founder of SmithGeiger, who notes that it has been a surprise how quickly the migration to new devices has taken place.

“The explosion of video consumption on screens, and not just snackable short-form video, but pretty significant degrees of long-form television content being watched across a broad number of platforms, is pretty eye opening,” Geiger said.


  1. And yet not everyone is predicting the end of TV. Denial is not just a river.

  2. Stick a fork in it. TV is done.

  3. I disagree, TV is not dead yet, and will continue to be a viable media for a while to come. That is, unless TV kills itself along the way. Fox, CBS and ABC are loading their guns right now. Broadcast TV is free, and those three putting their programming behind a paywall or making people wait to see the most recently aired episode of a series for a week or more is pushing people away. If TV wants to save itself, and bring the local stations along with them, they should be streaming their local affiliates in real time. “Oh! But we’re not getting enough money for our streams!!!” You can tell how many devices are on your stream at any given time, I’m sure. Since you’d be running the affiliate in real time, the ads come along too; you just offer the advertisers that they can now be seen online in real time so will pay so much extra per online viewer.

    However, down the road some, it’s inevitable that the radio and TV towers will all come down.

  4. Those numbers for the networks really come down when you take away sports. One of these streaming services is going to buy the Super Bowl, or another major sports event, and then over-the-air television will fade fast.

  5. TV is not done quite yet. *Perhaps* for 18-34 year olds, but that sure as hell doesn’t mean the 35+ crowd all dies tomorrow. They will be around for many years to come.

    Still, local stations need to start planning for that future, when the 30 minute newscast is a relic of the past. Because that day is coming.

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