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Most Millennials Still Pay For TV: Study

Majority Also Subscribe To An Online Video Service, According To Verizon Digital Media Services Survey 3/06/2014 11:14 AM Eastern

While it’s not surprising that Millennials (consumers in the 16-24 year-old age group) watch a lot of TV online, it might be more unexpected that the vast majority of them haven’t cut the cord, according to a new study (PDF) from Verizon Digital Media Services, the company’s cloud video unit.

As a group that gravitates to multiple screens and represents about 21% of total consumer spending, Millennials spend three times as much of their TV time watching online -- 34% versus 12% among non-Millennials, VDMS found in a study that surveyed 1,000 consumers (800 Millennials and 200 non-Millennials) and based its findings in part to in-home interviews with eight selected Millennials.

But 75% of the Millennials surveyed haven’t cut the cord and still pay for TV through  a traditional MVPD, the study showed.  And most (64%) also pay for an online streaming subscription, versus 33% of surveyed non-Millennials. Only 14% of the Millennials surveyed said they had never watched TV from an online source, versus 44% among non-Millennials.

As for how the Millennials surveyed broke down their total TV distribution time, 41% was for live TV, 34% online, 15% on the DVR, and 10% using VOD.

But broadcasters could have some reason for concern. While Millennials are generally brand loyal, not a single broadcast network made the top ten list of brand loyalties among the Millennials surveyed, VDMS said.

According to the survey, the top 10 brands among Millennials were: Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, Google, Walmart, Netflix, Apple, Microsoft, McDonald’s, and Samsung. Verizon was 16th.

Among other findings:  40% of Millennials want access to live TV online, 40% want 4K/Ultra HD video, 25% want device and session shifting, and 19% want interactive TV.

“Bottom line, Millennials demand their entertainment and willing to pay for it, wherever it is available. They want convenience. Those media companies that can deliver a transparent experience, be it online or over the air, will win the millennial audience,” said VDMS, a unit that has been shoring up its cloud video platform via the recent acquisitions of EdgeCast and upLynk.