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TiVo: TV content still dominates across generations

According to findings from TiVo’s Third Annual Millennial Video Entertainment Survey, Millennials still consume TV shows more than any other type of video content, even if they’re not watching the content from a traditional paid TV provider.

Seventy-three per cent of Millennials report they watch network and cable TV shows regularly. Older generations showed virtually the same numbers: 75 per cent of GenX, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation respondents reported watching TV shows regularly. Of Millennials, 40 per cent reported regularly using a paid TV provider (cable, satellite, telco) to watch TV. This is down only slightly (3 per cent) from 2014.

Millennials, however, use streaming services (Hulu, Netflix, or Network apps) more frequently than other groups to watch their favourite TV shows. While 61 per cent of Millennials regularly access streaming content, only 51 per cent of GenX, 39 per cent of Boomers, and 26 per cent of the Silent Generation take advantage of streaming on a regular basis. Even with the proliferation of streaming services and various digital video offerings, 79 per cent of Millennials are not giving serious consideration to cancelling their paid TV service. That number grows to more than 80 per cent for GenX, Boomers and Silent Generation.

“While every generation prefers TV programming, the places they access that programming vary significantly,” said Frank Foster, SVP and GM at TiVo Research. “Contrary to claims that Millennial media behaviour is driven by life stage or income, it appears that their media consumption preferences are simply different from those of previous generations.”

TiVo’s 2015 online survey compared Millennials’ video-watching behaviour with that of other age groups, covering a broad range of video activity, including what they watch, how they access video, what content they find offensive, and whether their total video intake has increased or decreased in the past year.

Additional Findings:

  • Offensive Content:
    • Violence becomes more troublesome with age. Eleven per cent of Millennials find violent video content objectionable, while 16 per cent of GenX, 17 per cent of Baby Boomers, and 25 per cent of the Silent Generation were turned off by violence.
    • Swearing is more acceptable to younger cohorts. Strong language bothers four per cent of Millennials, nine per cent of GenX, and 18 per cent of the Silent Generation.
    • Negative stereotypes on TV are far more offensive to the younger generations: 22 per cent of Millennials and 20 per cent of GenX find stereotypes offensive, while only 14 per cent of Baby Boomers and seven per cent of the Silent Generation were troubled by stereotypes.
  • Video Games
    • Millennials top every other generation for playing videogames at 59 per cent, more than double the amounts for both Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation.
    • Difference in content preferences between the generations surfaced most obviously in the frequency of watching other people playing video games on services such as Twitch. An average of 28 per cent of Millennials reported using these services, while only eight per cent of GenXers did. The other two generations showed negligible interest in watching others play video games.

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