Millennials’ Video Genre Preferences Vary by Device. Here’s What They’re Watching.

May 4, 2018

Millennials in the US generally watch Comedy, Action/Adventure and Drama on TV but gravitate to News first on digital devices, finds a report from Oath. The Oath Video Content Preference study suggests that shorter content is favored on smaller screens, while viewing on smartphones is more prevalent than watching on laptops/desktops and tablets.

As part of its study, Oath asked more than 1,000 US adults to identify the genres they had watched within the previous 30 days on various devices. The report highlights the results among Millennials (ages 18-34).

At least half of these respondents had watched the following genres on TV:

  • Comedy (67%);
  • Action/Adventure (62%);
  • Drama (61%);
  • Sports (57%);
  • News (56%); and
  • Mystery/Thriller/Horror (53%).

Several of those genres – such as Dramas and Action/Adventure programming – are typically longer-running content of at least an hour.

Not too surprisingly, there’s not as much appeal for those genres on smaller screens.

News leads the way on smartphones, with 41% of Millennials having watched some News content on such a device during the previous month. Following News was Music/Concert programming (38%), with slightly fewer than one-third having watched Instructional/Educational/Self Improvement content (31%) and Dramas (31%).

News and Music/Concerts were also the top genres on laptops/desktops and on tablets, with these likely to be more clip-based. Instructional/Educational/Self Improvement content and Comedy also rank highly on the digital screens.

Millennials Over-Index in Smartphone Video Viewing

In a result that will come as a surprise to few, Millennials display an above-average likelihood to be watching various video content genres on their smartphones.

In fact, they over-indexed in all 15 genres, which is likely simply a result of their being more apt to watch video on their smartphones to begin with.

The genres that Millennials gravitate to the most on smartphones, relative to the general population sample, are Comedy (index of 146), Action/Adventure (145), Romance (145), Animation (143) and Mystery/Thriller/Horror (140).

It’s worth noting that Millennials also over-indexed in their viewership of each of these genres on TVs, too. That indicates that these are favored genres among youth, who are more apt to watch them regardless of the device they’re using.

Interestingly enough, although News was the most-watched genre on digital devices for Millennials, they under-indexed the general population average more for News viewing on TV (92) than for any other identified genre. News was also the genre that they over-indexed in smartphone viewing by the smallest amount (119).

That’s likely due to the strong appeal that News has among older generations:

The full Oath survey results can be found here.

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