NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

Live TV Still the Biggest Draw for Younger Viewers, New Study Shows

Live TV Still the Biggest Draw for Younger Viewers, New Study Shows

TV

It's no secret that younger generations today turn to their digital devices to help them in almost every aspect of their lives, and media and entertainment are no different. People can watch TV on their phones while on the subway, or catch up on an episode while waiting at the airport. But what's fascinating is that despite this new flexibility that technology and TV networks have provided in recent years, millennials still very much tune into live TV. According to Nielsen's first quarterly Content Ratings Benchmarks report, 81 percent of people in the 18-34 demographic who consume content from cable networks are watching it on live TV. 

This should come as no surprise, especially as last week's heavily anticipated Game of Thrones season eight premiere drew in 11.8 million live viewers, over the total 17.4 million multiplatform viewers. Major sporting events, like the Olympics, World Cup or Super Bowl, always tend to become unifying events that bring together millions of people into living rooms or public spaces to view and cheer the competition as it unfolds in real time, but they're not the only type of programming that can still do this. When a show like Game of Thrones comes around, everyone makes time to watch it live, even in today's fragmented TV marketplace full of consumer choices, digital devices, and TV apps that allow viewers to watch TV on their own time. 

81% of people 18-34 who consume cable content are watching it on live TV

Also interesting to note from the Nielsen report is that out of this same demographic that watches content on digital devices, 55 percent spent their time viewing TV on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets versus 45 percent who viewed content on computers. Mobile devices have gained an edge over computers, which indicates a future where TV watching is picked up anytime and anywhere as this generation continues to embrace the digital era. 

America's cable programmers have invested over $430 billion in the last 20 years to produce the award-winning programming that viewers love, but they've also created the most unique app experiences that allow viewers to watch their favorite shows at home or on the go. Television is being redefined as we know it, and in the best way possible.