Mobile Continues to Rise as Primary Television Consumption Medium of Millennials

February 24th 2017, 23:36 by Gabe Gordon
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Television

As of late 2015, 46% of all videos were viewed on mobile devices. Considering that number had grown by 35% over the previous year and 170% since 2013, it’s safe to say that the act of watching video on smartphones is trending upward. In fact, with the introduction of larger phone screens such as on the iPhone 7 plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note, not to mention better, more dynamic sound systems on today’s smart phones, it is a safe bet that this trend has not yet come near to peaking.

On the other hand, however, 69% of all of the videos viewed on a tablet or smartphone were 10 minutes or less in length, while 70% of all videos over 10 minutes long were viewed on connected TV’s. Another 2015 study showed that Americans 18 and over consume an average of 11 or more hours of media a day, with only one hour and 25 minutes of that time being spent on a smartphone, while 4 hours and 51 minutes is spent (on average) watching live TV on a connected TV. On the other hand, Millennials between the ages of 13 and 24 consume an average of 11.3 hours of online video per week, versus just 8.3 hours of broadcast TV.

What that same study found, however, is that more and more, Millennials are migrating away from traditional TV content and more towards other forms of digital content like YouTube videos or other videos shared via social media. The changes to how millennial are viewing media however, raises some interesting questions about viewing habits in the future. For instance, why do Millennials prefer watching video content on mobile devices?

Today’s young people seem to be on the move more than ever before which raises the question as to whether they are watching content on mobile devices because they genuinely prefer them or simply because they themselves are significantly more mobile than in the past? Could it be that when they move out of their house they don’t want to deal with the hassle of moving a TV? Another question is whether they prefer to watch on small screens because they enjoy watching content their parents might not approve of. Watching on a small screen gives them a great deal more privacy than watching on a giant screen where anyone can see what they are watching.

Another interesting question is whether Millennials are becoming so used to watching content on smaller screens that when they have more opportunities later in life to watch what they want to watch on a larger screen, will they do so?

At the moment, it appears that while more and more content is being consumed on mobile devices and cell phones, television shows are most likely to still be consumed on larger screens. On the other hand, in May of 2013, 100 hours of video was being uploaded to YouTube every minute. By November of 2014, that number had risen to roughly 300 hours of video every minute and by November 2015, that number was closer to an estimated 500 hours of video every minute. With that kind of upward trend, it raises significant questions about the future of television as we know it and if video consumption 10 years from now will in any way resemble how we watch television today.


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