Millennials are driving ‘cord cutting’ and redefining ‘TV’

  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 08 Feb 2017

The Netflix logo is pictured on a television remote in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S., January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

When it comes to cutting the cord – to traditional phones and cable services – there's no advocate group stronger than the millennials, according to the market researchers at GfK MRI. 

The young adult millennial (ages 18-34) crew accounts for "nearly half" (43%) of the US cordless population – defined by GfK as those who have never had cable, satellite or fibre-optic cable service and those who have cut the cord. And 30% of US millennials are now cordless, compared with just 16% of Boomers. 

These cord cutters' viewing habits – and even just their perception of TV – differ from those of traditional television watchers, Gfk found. "TV" gets defined as anything they can watch on any device – a TV, laptop, smartphone or tablet. 

Gfk reports that named favourites include usual streaming suspects YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. But the younger viewers also "over-index" (a GfK survey term meaning disproportionate usage) for smaller entities like Crunchy Roll, Twitch and the Adult Swim app. 

And when sitting down to watch TV or video, the study showed, the cord cutters are most likely to go to a specific show on a streaming service, rather than just surf. 

Tapping this coterie is tough for marketers and opinion takers. Millennials are hard to reach because they are "44 times more likely to be cord-free than the average US consumer," the study noted. 

"While huge fans of quality programming and content ... they are not fond of being told where, when and how they should watch it," said Karen Ramspacher, senior vice president of Consumer Insights and Trends at GfK MRI. 

"They view streaming services as well worth the money and producers of the best shows 'on TV'." — Philadelphia Daily News/Tribune News Service

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