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Adobe survey: Most under 35s get news from social media

September 13, 2017

Adobe has released a survey looking at how consumers under the age of 35 consume content – from news, to television and movies. It highlights the impact of social media and how likely consumers are to pay for news content, as well as the continued move away from traditional TV.


  • The survey was conducted between August 2nd and 8th, 2017, with over 1,500 US consumers
  • Social insights are based on 1+ million social mentions from August 2016 – July 2017 via Blogs, Facebook, G+, Reddit, Twitter, Dailymotion, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, VK, Disqus, Foursquare, Metacafe, WordPress, and YouTube

Consumers turn to social media to get their news:

  • Over 50 per cent of consumers under the age of 35 claim a majority of their news consumption is through social media as opposed to TV, news platforms, or the newspaper.
  • Less than 1 in 4 of consumers over 35 use social media as their primary news consumption method.
  • Facebook is the most commonly used social media platform for daily news across all age groups.
  • Looking Forward: 35 per cent of young consumers say their use of social media tools for news content will increase in the next year–consumers over 35 less likely to say their use of social media for news will increase in the next year (<20 per cent)

However, the majority of consumers say they are not likely to pay for the ability to access news via social media:

Younger consumers accelerating move away from traditional TV:

  • Traditional TV providers struggle to keep up as consumers look to online streaming and other types of entertainment
  • Two-thirds of consumers under the age of 35 report using online streaming subscriptions to regularly watch television.
  • Online Cable, direct TV or satellite is the primary method for half of those 35 years or older
  • Over one-quarter of those under 35 years are already watching TV exclusively online, another 30 per cent say they will do so within the next 2 years.
  • Over 40 per cent of consumers over 35 years old don’t ever plan to watch TV exclusively online.

Sports fanatics turn to social media:

  • Young consumers more likely to turn to social media for sports news
  • 1 in 5 consumers under the age of 35 say social media is the first place they look for sports news vs. 1 in 10 consumers over the age of 35
  • 15 per cent of consumers say their “primary use of social media is to post about sports”

Younger audiences complement consumption with social media usage:

  • Younger audiences are accustomed to consuming entertainment while having a cross-channel, cross-device experience  
  • One-quarter of consumers under 35 years old state that using social media while watching entertainment is critical to their enjoyment of the experience – almost half of those over 35 strongly disagree
  • 1 in 5 consumers of high school age uses social media to primarily post about TV shows
  • Season 7 premiere of Game of Thrones, the most-watched season premiere for any HBO series to date, experienced almost 3.5x amount of social mentions on premiere day compared to the release day of Wonder Woman, the second highest grossing movie in 2017.

The majority of consumers prefer to watch movies in the comforts of home:

  • Over 80 per cent of consumers waited for a movie to be released on DVD rather than going to the cinema in the last year
  • More than half of consumers agree that they would watch more new movies if they could watch first-run movies from their home
  • Gaming devices, Smart TVs and cable boxes are the most popular devices used to access entertainment at home among those 13-34 years of age. Consumers 35+ most often use a cable box, Smart TV, or Blu-ray Disc player

Binge watching is preferred consumption method for younger audiences:

  • Over 50 per cent of consumers between the age of 13 and 22 say they prefer to binge watch TV series
  • Over one-third of consumers over the age of 35 prefer to watch one episode per week


Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, OTT, Research, Social Media, VOD