Friday, October 19, 2012

Shift in Gen Y Primetime Viewing Habils

A new report by research firm GfK examines trends in primetime viewing habits over time in the US, and finds that Gen Y consumers are developing very different viewing habits than their parents.  Their basic conclusions are that diffusion of media devices continues to expand, and that the amount of TV use in primetime hasn't changed much - but how people use TV during that time has changed, and the younger generation is driving that change.
  For the GenY age group (13-32), the report indicated the following viewing patterns:
  •  Live broadcasts - 57%  (down from 82% in 2008)
  •  Recorded programs - 28%  (up from 15% in 2008)
  •  Streaming video - 12%  (none reported in 2008)
  •  Playing videogame - 13%  (12% in 2008)
In contrast, Gen X (aged 33-46) primetime viewing only had 3% streaming and 4% playing videogames, while the proportion of recorded program viewing was about the same (26%).  (and yes, the numbers above do add to more than 100% as a result of multitasking)
But the habits of the youngest group are most noteworthy because they provide directional insight as to where consumer behavior is headed in the coming years. Streaming video on the TV doesn’t necessarily equate to viral videos or Web series. In many cases, viewers may be streaming TV shows via Netflix, or renting programming on iTunes or Amazon. Nevertheless, the increased usage underscores that broadband video is converging with the TV set for the younger generation.
The report also looked at "daily media time" in 2004, 2008, and 2012.  One not so surprising result is that the amount of time spent using media increased over the last four years, largely as a result of increases in time spent online, and the opportunities that mobile offers to use media.  In 2012, mobile accounted for about 7% of daily media time, online about 30%, radio about 20%, and TV 40%.  Use of printed media (newspapers and magazines) has fallen to 3-4% of daily media time.
  The good news for advertisers was that the study showed little change in people's attitudes about TV advertising. The bad news for broadcast networks was that only 42% of respondents named a broadcast network (compared to a cable network) when asked to name the 3 channels they would turn to first when watching TV in primetime. GfK's conclusion:
Media companies should be thinking of primetime more as a concept - that time period during which people will always be looking to be entertained in the evening - than as a static slate of scheduled programs, and offer content/platform choices that can be utilized by all of today's audience niches...
(W)e believe long term success will come to those who embrace alternative viewing options while still serving the large audience for traditional, linear primetime programming.
 Sounds like some good advice.

Source - Streaming Video on TV Set Cutting into Primetime TV Viewing for Gen Y 12% of Time, VidBlog
Primetime TV 2004-2012: Among persons 18-49, GfK Media white paper (request download)

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