Advanced Television

Young adults distinctive TV habits identified

October 26, 2016

The audio-visual landscape is changing when analysed from a young adult’s perspective (15-34 years), reports French audience measurement company Mediametrie. This target audience spends less time in front of the television than the rest of the population. However, what is especially interesting is that they do not necessarily watch the same channels and programmes as other age groups and this is what singles them out. Mediametrie’s The Young Adults Report is interested in these young people, who watch television differently.

Young adults spend 2 hours 39 minutes per day watching television

In the ten markets studied between September 2015 and June 2016, young adults spent an average of 2 hours and 39 minutes per day in front of their television screen; 1 hour and 30 minutes less than the total population and 5 per cent less than in previous years. This global trend hides major disparities between countries. Indeed, three of the countries studied have seen their young adult audiences grow.

A significant and increasing part of time-shifted viewing

Although young adults watch less TV than the rest of the population, they are more likely to make use of time-shifted viewing. For instance, in the United Kingdom, young Brits spent 20 per cent of their time in front of the television time-shifting during the 2015-2016 season, totalling 30 minutes per day. This percentage is still increasing. In comparison, time-shifting represents 14 per cent of global British TV time.

Specific channel choices

In 4 out of 10 countries, the preferred channel for young adults is different to that of the overall population. If we look at the top 3 channels, there are significant differences between young adults and the total population. Indeed, 30 per cent of the channels included in young adults’ ‘Top 3’ do not appear in that of individuals overall. Young adults are not necessarily attracted to the same channels as the rest of the population. For instance, PRO7 in Germany is the leading channel in terms of market share among young adults with 18.9 per cent, but only ranks 6th among the total population, with 5.2 per cent.

A preference for entertainment and fiction channels

In the ten countries studied, four channels have a proportion of young adults in their audience that is greater than 50 per cent: MTV in the UK, VIVA and Comedy Central in Germany and TV2 ZULU in Denmark. In addition, if we look at the 40 strongest channels in terms of their proportion of young adult viewers, we can see that these channels are mainly entertainment (44 per cent) or fiction (31 per cent) oriented. The audience is also more female oriented with 60 per cent of the audience made up of young women.

The attraction of reality TV shows

Entertainment is, on average by far the most watched genre by young adults in the ten countries studied, representing 40 per cent of their TV time (vs. 36 per cent for the total population). Reality Shows are especially popular among young adults, representing more than half of the top ten entertainment programs across the ten countries. On the other hand, factual television is the least consumed genre by young adults, representing just 28 per cent of their TV time. However, it is the most consumed genre in terms of the overall population (38 per cent).

The talent show ‘Got Talent’ features in the top ten entertainment lists for five of the ten countries. The show is especially successful in European countries. The Voice, another talent show, is in second position on the podium with four appearances in the top ten lists. Finally, we have four other reality shows (Survivor, Big Brother, The Great British Bake Off and Strictly Come Dancing) in addition to talent shows Pop Idol and the Voice Kids.


Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Consumer Behaviour, Content, Research