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Binge-watching booms in USA

News, 23 March 2017
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NEW YORK: Americans love their media and the extent to which they stream, binge-watch and use social networks has been revealed in a new report from Deloitte.

The professional services firm surveyed more than 2,100 US consumers about their attitudes and behaviours toward media consumption, social media and advertising for its Digital Democracy Survey.

Now in its 11th year, the comprehensive report found 74% of US consumers subscribe to pay TV, while half (49%) subscribe to paid streaming video services.

This rises to nearly 60% among Gen Z, millennials and Gen X consumers, who subscribe to at least one paid streaming video service.

Three-quarters (74%) of consumers still subscribe to pay TV and – in a sign that cord-cutting may not be as worrying as previously thought – two-thirds (66%) say they keep their pay TV because it is bundled with their internet service.

Deloitte also revealed that the binge-watching trend is continuing apace with nearly three-quarters (73%) of US consumers – and nearly 90% of millennials and Gen Z viewers – reporting that they have binge-watched video content.

In fact, millennial and Gen Z binge-watchers report watching an average of six episodes, or five hours of content, in a single sitting.

In terms of viewing devices, Deloitte found Gen Z and millennials spend about half their time watching TV shows and movies on devices other than a TV. But Gen X favours the TV by over 60% while Baby Boomers use the TV for more than 80% of their programming.

Interestingly, the report found nearly all (99%) millennials and Gen Z multitask while watching TV, averaging four additional activities, such as texting, browsing the web, using social networks, reading email and online shopping.

"American consumers continued to stream, binge watch and demand more media in 2016," said Kevin Westcott, Principal of Deloitte's US Media and Entertainment practice.

"As the growing forces of social media and over-the-top services continue to accelerate, particularly among millennials and Generation Z, the consumer rules," he added.

Elsewhere, Deloitte found that 84% percent of all consumers and over 90% of Gen Z and millennials use social networks.

Furthermore, a third (33%) of millennials and Gen Z get their news primarily from social media, while over 70% of millennials have used social media to interact with corporate customer services in the last year.

Also of note to marketers, the survey revealed that 67% of consumers, and over 70% of Gen Z and millennials, find mobile ads on their phone to be irrelevant.

However, 37% report finding it valuable to receive location-based ads on their smartphone and use them regularly, and almost half (46%) say they pay more attention to an ad they can skip versus an ad that doesn’t allow them to.

Finally, approaching half (45%) of millennials say they use ad blocking software, while Gen Z consumers find online recommendations on social media (27%) are more influential than TV ads (18%) when it comes to their purchasing decisions.

Data sourced from Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff

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