With TV ratings plummeting, the fallacy has been that younger viewers aren’t interested in shows any more. Studies have shown the opposite is true, millennials are voracious consumers of content but are far more likely to access their shows on their schedule and through their means (eg. computers, phones, consoles, streaming boxes) with the average person in that group reportedly spending more than six hours of their day watching TV or streaming video.
With the flood of content out there jockeying for eyeballs, a new study by TiVo (via Variety has confirmed that younger viewers are also far more impatient when it comes to accessing their content. According to the study, 54% of the millennials will stop watching a show because it was too burdensome to access.
By that it means not enough episodes were available to catch up on, episodes were behind a paywall, episodes moved platforms, or the viewer encountered some other minor impediment. Essentially when a series becomes no longer accessible by just a few clicks, they check out.
TiVo’s VP of strategy and strategic research Paul Stathacopoulos says the company knows what shows people dropped because they had 2,500 respondents write out the series they’d stopped watching due to the aforementioned reasons. Surprisingly the study showed the origin of the series doesn’t matter be it a broadcast show (“The Big Bang Theory”), basic cable (“The Walking Dead”) or premium cable (“Game of Thrones”):
“Some of it depends on where people came in and got introduced to the show… The moment millennials and Gen Z run into any barrier to access, they just turn and run. They think, ‘There are four other shows I can go watch right now’… We may over time start to see the average lifespan of highly successful properties start to contract.”
Millennials do have the highest rate of penetration when it comes to streaming services with a massive 91% of those surveyed subscribe to at least one. But with budgets as they are, millennials are reportedly less inclined to cobble together multiple subscription services to watch what they want. As more studios and programmers wall off their content or spread it across different streaming services though – that’s what is happening.