The addition of mobile devices and the increased interest in such services as Netflix and Hulu is changing Americans’ media consumption habits.
A trend is emerging as both the young and the old are switching off their TV sets in favor of online video alternatives, according to a new report from Forrester Research. Most people say they are watching less TV in favor of on-demand services and streaming.
Forrester polled a panel of 4,709 individuals in the US and found just 46% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 88 years old watched linear TV in a typical month. It’s worth bearing in mind this research shows the results of a survey, rather than actual consumption data, but this shift in viewing habits is profound nonetheless.
A small majority of Generation X and Baby Boomers said they watched linear TV, but that average was lowered by millennials.
As many millennials said they watched linear TV as used paid or free online streaming services.
A rise in services like Netflix and Hulu seems to be lowering regular TV viewing, but a lot of this behavior is actually shown to add to TV watching among millennials. More than half (55%) of younger viewers who said they still switched on their TV sets watched four hours or more of regular TV a week, as well as watching four hours or more of TV online.
It seems the way we consume content has dramatically changed. Old established habits die hard when it comes to the type of content consumed. Current-season TV shows remain a favorite type of programming to watch, no matter what e medium. Yet 37% of US adults are also using online services to revisit shows that are no longer on air or past seasons of current shows.
As Forrester recommends in its “Making Sense of New Video Consumption Behavior” report, linear TV and digital video recording are still the predominant viewing behaviors, “the main courses,” between Generation X and Baby Boomers — i.e. the majority of viewers. But that course needs to be supplemented with “side dishes” and “desserts” across the online spectrum. This includes short-form video content, which is primarily consumed on smartphones and can be monetized through advertising revenue shares on sites like YouTube or can be delivered via broadcasters’ own platforms and sponsored.