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Nielsen: Millennials Registering Less TV Time, More Streaming


NEW YORK: According to Nielsen, millennials spend about 27 percent less time watching traditional TV than viewers over the age of 35.

Nielsen’s inaugural Millennials on Millennials report finds that TV-connected devices—DVD players, VCRs, game consoles and digital streaming devices—compose four times the percentage of millennials’ total video minutes than adults 35 and older. TV-connected devices account for 23 percent of millennials’ total time with video, compared with just 6 percent for consumers 35 and older. This group spends 66 percent of average weekly gross minutes watching traditional TV, compared to 89 percent reported among those over 35.

The report also concludes that millennials are a distracted audience, when it comes to advertising, even though they are less likely to skip ads. Less than 2 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds changed the channel during commercials, compared with 5.5 percent of 35- to 54-year-olds and more than 8 percent of viewers 55 and older. Given their engagement with other devices, however, millennials had the lowest program engagement and lowest ad memorability scores during the studied shows.

Regarding millennial habits during commercials, these viewers report that they’re most likely to use their phones—a prime outlet to engage with social media. It’s not surprising, then, that millennials score lower than older generations when it comes to ad memorability. Nielsen’s recent Millennial Media Advisors Report notes that TV ads have an average memorability of 38 percent among millennials, 10 percentage points lower than among Gen X’ers 35 and over (48 percent). Millennials understand the necessity of ads in order for brands to inform the public of their products and services (79 percent) and many say that overall, ads don’t bother them (46 percent), especially if the content they’re viewing is free (75 percent).

About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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