ComScore Report: Young Adults Leading the Shift in Online Viewing

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Measurement specialist comScore issued a research paper today titled "The U.S. Total Video Report" that looks at shifting TV viewing habits in the digital age. American viewing patterns are quickly changing, and the young are leading the way.

Millennials, defined as adults between 18 and 34, watch original TV shows on digital platforms one-third of the time. ComScore notes that the older the viewer, the more likely to watch on a TV set. In other bad news for TV broadcasters, comScore found that 1 in 6 millennials hadn't watched an original series on a TV set in the past month. Instead, they're getting their video from set-top boxes such as Roku and Apple TV, and game consoles.

While viewers of every age watch TV shows online, the report finds they do so for different reasons. Older viewers go online when they've missed a showing on regular TV. Younger adults, on the other hand, seek out content online, perhaps for price reasons or because they want a lighter commercial load.

Millennials are more likely to time-shift their viewing: 46 percent of them time-shift shows, while only 35 percent of those 35 to 54 do so. Finally, the young are much less likely to sign on with pay TV services: They're 77 percent more likely to be in a "cord-never" household.

While comScore's results are interesting, the methodology has some flaws. ComScore surveyed 1,159 viewers with an online questionnaire, so those surveyed are all active internet users. The report is available for free download (registration required).

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