Advanced Television

Research: Social, gaming attract younger US consumers

November 18, 2022

Hub Entertainment Research’s Battle Royale study looks at all the entertainment sources Americans use – cable and streaming TV, social media, gaming, music, podcasts and more. Key Highlights from the latest survey include:

  1. Young consumers are more engaged with entertainment of all kinds. People under 35 have an average of eight entertainment platforms they say are “must have” sources – things their household “can’t do without”. Among those 35 and over, it’s much lower: they only have 4.9 sources they say they can’t do without.
  2. But the younger demo is less dependent on video: gaming and social media comprise almost half the total entertainment sources used by those under 35. These consumers use an average of 15.5 entertainment sources, and of these, six are either gaming or social media (vs. 6.6 video sources.)

By comparison, those 35+ are much more video focused: 5.3 video sources, vs. 2.1 social media platforms and one gaming source.

85 per cent of young consumers say social media platforms are a must have – higher than any other category. Those 35+ are most likely to say major SVoDs (70 per cent) or reading (70 per cent) are a “must have” source of entertainment.

3. Social media platforms are making inroads on occasions normally reserved for premium video entertainment.

Not surprisingly, social media is the top choice among men and women of all ages when they have 10-15 minutes to spend on entertainment.

However, when Hub looks at first-choice for entertainment when there’s two hours available, the results are more differentiated.

  • Women of all ages are more likely to use streaming platforms when they have that much time
  • But men under 25 are just as likely to spend two hours on social media or gaming as they are on streaming platforms.
  • And while SVoDs are the top choice among men 25 to 34, social media and gaming are very close behind.

“The competition between streaming providers has monopolised the TV industry spotlight in recent years”, said Jon Giegengack, principal at Hub and one of the study authors. “But among young people, things like gaming and social media are a bigger competitive threat. There are young people who are as likely to spend two hours on TikTok as they are watching a TV show. These behaviours may not change with age, and it’s important for media companies to anticipate where their audiences will be in the future.”

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