Statistics Show Millennials Prefer Digital Content Over TV


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Millennials have grown up in an online and socially networked world. Many are addicted to instant gratification and convenience whether it be posting their lives on social media, streaming their favorite influencers’ vlogs at any time they want, or accessing their favorite shows on things like Netflix, and Hulu. They thrive off of having everything available at the click of one button. Being used to having everything at their fingertips however has a drastic consequence for TV programming - as well as the ad buys and brand partnerships within them. 

In this blog post Hollywood Branded looks at a research study by Defy Media's The Acumen "Constant Content" Report on how millennials (13-24 years old) consume content, and their digital preferences.


How They're Watching

The report concludes that online video content (YouTube and similar social media) is preferred over any other form of content. 

  • 96% watch online video content on average at about 11.3 hours a week.
  • 71% watch subscription online video such as Netflix, Hulu, & Amazon on average at about 10.8 hours a week.
  • 57% watch free online TV such as or on average at 6.4 hours a week.
  • 81% watch broadcast cable on average at 8.3 hours a week.
  • And 56% watch recorded TV on average at 7.5 hours a week.

So obviously millennials love online video content…let’s take a look at why.

Millennials View At Their Convenience

The report stated that 81% of millennials believe they can watch online video at any time they want. While only 28% reported that for scheduled TV.

Everything in this age is so fast paced and convenience based.  Online video content is always accessible. Millennials don’t have to wait for a certain time of day to watch it. With digital, they can watch it at their convenience.

It's Easy To Relate To

Youtubers are modern day role models. Millennials watch these influencers because they have similar interests. Viewers look to them for advice and trust the influencer.  

Per the report, 67% of Millennials watch digital because it is easy to relate to whereas only 41% think that about scheduled TV. The perception is that online sources deliver themes and personalities more relatable than those offered by TV.

Viewers become very loyal to an influencer’s genuine opinion which can benefit companies who partner with these influencers.  Over 60% of all age groups stated they would buy a brand recommended by a YouTuber. 

YouTuber's are more appealing to millennials because they think “they’re just like me!” whereas in many cases movie stars come off as extremely lavish and not relatable.  This relatability is similar to why 'reality stars' are so popular, and can be more beneficial for a celebrity endorsement than an A-list big name.

Millennials Don't Have To Waste their Time On Ads

Going back to what we were talking about earlier….millennials want instant access to everything. Heaven forbid they have to watch a commercial! 

60% said they watch online video content because they can avoid ads and 42% said that about Scheduled TV. 63% also stated that Scheduled TV has WAY too many ads.

Marketing To Millennials Takes A Different Approach

The millennials are entirely different breed compared to Generation X - and brand marketers with both their need  of fast paced and all-about-convenience lifestyle.  Brand marketers need to be aware of how millennials are consuming content, in order to make smart decisions on how and where to advertise.  Product Placement is an excellent option that allows for in content exposure in platforms beyond broadcast TV within the digital universe with music videos and streaming on demand content.  Social media influencer partnerships bring messages directly to millennials glued to their Iphone screens, directly through their favored feeds and pages they lurk on.

Are you interested in learning more on how your brand can work with social media influencers? Download our infographic that provides case studies, rates and strategies for success when creating a social media influencer program.

How To Connect Your Brand With Social Influencers