Roughly Half of Households Headed by People Ages 55+ Stream Video

July 16, 2018

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Household Income | Pay-TV & Cord-Cutting | Television | Video | Youth & Gen X

Some 63% of US households with Wi-Fi streamed OTT video in April, reports comScore in a recent presentation on the State of OTT [download page]. The top fifth of these homes by viewing duration – “heavy streamers” – watched an average of 145 hours of OTT during the month, translating to almost 5 hours per day. (Somehow, that’s still less than the amount of traditional TV viewed daily by people over the age of 50.)

The comScore analysis indicates that heavy streamers watch 13 times more than “light streamers” – the bottom half of streamers by viewing duration – who watched an average of 11 hours during the month.

It’s no surprise that young households are far more likely than older ones to be heavy streamers. Fully 79% of households with Wi-Fi headed by people ages 18-34 stream OTT, and among those households 26.5% count as heavy streamers.

The 35-44 age bracket isn’t far behind. Indeed, an equal 79% streamed OTT during April, though slightly fewer of these households (21.5%) qualified as heavy streamers.

It’s not news that younger adults are active OTT video streamers, but it is interesting to see the extent to which streaming is gaining in popularity among older adults.

In this latest presentation, comScore reveals that a majority (56%) of households headed by 55-64-year-olds streamed OTT during April, as did close to half (44%) of households headed by people ages 65 and older.

It’s possible that at least some of this OTT viewing in households headed by older adults is actually influenced by youth. That’s because Census data indicates that a majority of 18-24-year-olds live in their parents’ homes. Still, there’s reason to believe that streaming video is growing in popularity among older adults: PwC data from late last year found 63% of adults ages 50-59 accessing TV content from the internet, up from slightly fewer than 50% during the 2 years prior.

Meanwhile, in other highlights from comScore’s report:

  • One-third (34%) of the OTT streaming audience does not subscribe to pay-TV, skewing more towards cord-cutters (18%) than cord-nevers (14%); although
  • Homes headed by 18-34-year-olds are more likely to be cord-nevers (24%) than cord-cutters (21%);
  • Among OTT streaming households, those with a pay-TV subscription spent 42 hours in April streaming OTT video, compared to 66 hours among cord-nevers and 84 hours among cord-cutters;
  • Only 58.5% of Wi-Fi households with a pay-TV service stream OTT video, which comScore interprets as a “major growth opportunity” for OTT providers; and
  • Homes with income of less than $60k are about twice as likely as those with income of at least $150k to be “cordless” (not have a pay-TV service).

The full presentation is available for download here.

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