3 Interesting Stats on Youths’ Emerging Video Viewing Methods

August 15, 2018

The newest quarterly Total Audience Report [download page] has been released by Nielsen – and it contains a bevy of stats on media usage. Here are a few interesting pieces of data that highlight the emergence of newer video viewing behaviors, particularly among youth.

The first concerns social media, which for context Nielsen reports occupies three-quarters of an hour of adults’ daily time. Slightly more than three-quarters of that time (or 34 minutes) is spent accessing social media via smartphones. (That’s why Facebook’s ad business is now overwhelming mobile.)

The study reveals that video viewing has become a commonplace activity for many social media users. Specifically, among those who watch video content within social media sites and apps (“social video viewers” seems a pertinent label), fully 72% of smartphone users in the 18-34 age bracket do so on a daily basis.

It’s not just this age group watching social video daily on their smartphones. Among social video viewers in the 35-49 (61%) and 50-64 (62%) age groups, majorities of smartphone users likewise are watching video daily. And the 65+ group is getting in the act, with almost half (47%) of smartphone users who watch video on social doing so daily.

Video viewing isn’t quite as prevalent for tablet users. Among those who are social video viewers, 46% watch video via social on a daily basis. That figure does jump to 57% among 18-34-year-olds, but it drops to about half as many (29%) of adults ages 65 and older.

Nielsen notes that it doesn’t include social video viewing time in its overall media consumption estimates, so the time spent watching video in social media sites and apps is in addition to the 6 hours a day (!) that adults (18+) spend watching video via traditional TV and other methods.

How Many TV Minutes Are Spent Streaming?

Streaming video is on the ascent, particularly through connected TV devices. So this next stat might come as a surprise: in OTT homes, just 1 in every 10 minutes of TV is streamed through a smart TV or TV-connected device.

While that seems like a low number, it’s much higher for teens (13-17). In fact, in streaming-capable homes, almost one-quarter (23%) of teens’ total TV minutes are spent streaming video.

In this case, teens are ahead of other demographic groups, with 18-34-year-olds spending a slightly smaller share (18%) of their TV minutes streaming video.

There are also some interesting divergences in the devices used to stream video. Fully half (50%) of teens’ video streaming minutes are spent with gaming consoles, a figure that drops precipitously among older age groups; just 27% of 18-34-year-olds’ video streaming minutes are with consoles.

By contrast, older age groups tend to apportion more of their streaming minutes to internet-connected devices and smart TVs. The 35-49 bracket spends half of its streaming video time using internet-connected devices, while smart TVs are responsible for the greatest share of streaming time (44%) for those ages 50 and older.

Youth Are Now Using TV-Connected Devices For More Than An Hour Daily

Finally, our third stat: 18-34-year-olds, who spend the most time daily streaming, spend one hour and 15 minutes per day using TV-connected devices such as game consoles, Roku TVs and smart TVs. (This data is averaged among the entire population, rather than being specific to streaming-capable homes.)

They’re not the only ones: kids ages 2-11 averaged 1 hour and 10 minutes per day with TV-connected devices during the first quarter, and teens ages 12-17 spent 1 hour and 4 minutes per day with them.

By comparison, these aren’t as popular with older Americans. The 65+ bracket averages just 18 minutes per day with TV-connected devices, instead devoting much more time to traditional TV.

The full Nielsen report is available for download here.

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