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Millennials Spend a Third of TV Time on PCs, Tablets and Phones

by Fox Van Allen on October 24, 2014

Man watching smartphone; woman watching TVWondering why TV ratings are slumping even though there are so many compelling shows available for viewing these days? It may just be because younger folks are getting their boob tube fix elsewhere. According to a new comScore study of TV watching habits, Americans aged 18 to 34 are now spending a third of their TV watching time on computers, tablets and smartphone devices.

The study, which looked at a number of different age groups, shows that the Millennial generation spends 66% of their TV time in front of an actual TV. Nineteen percent of Millennials’ TV time is spent with a PC, while 6% of time is spent watching tablets and 6% of time is spent watching on smartphones. One in four of those aged 18 to 34 don’t even maintain a paid cable TV subscription.

The unaffordability of mobile data and lack of TV streaming options may be the only thing preventing a total collapse of traditional television viewership. Nearly half of Millennials say they’ve spent at least some time watching shows on a tablet, 44% spent at least some time watching a desktop and 31% spent some time watching a television show on a smartphone.

As you might expect, a fondness for traditional television increases with age. Americans aged 35 to 54 spend just 84% of their TV time in front of a television. That number jumps to 90% for those aged 55 and up.

But though seniors are behind their younger counterparts, they’ve at least started dabbling with video streaming. The same survey shows that 17% of seniors have watched at least one original TV series on a desktop or laptop computer, while 18% have watched TV on a tablet. As these numbers continue to grow, they should put significant pressure on content providers to offer more choices for watching streaming video online.

[Couple watching TV and streaming video via Shutterstock]


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