Streaming online content continues to grow as social media and over-the-top services appeal to more consumers, especially to Millennials and Gen Z audiences. In fact, almost half (49%) of all US consumers now subscribe to a paid streaming video services with almost 60% penetration among Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z.
Interestingly, cable and satellite subscriptions remain steady at 74% of US Households. This can likely be attributed to pay TV subscriptions bundled with Internet services. US consumer media habits are shifting significantly. To better understand these changes, Deloitte’s Digital Democracy Survey offers insight into the multi-generational view of consumer technology, media, and telecom trends.
- Binge watching becomes the new norm. Close to three quarters (73%) of US consumers report binge watching. Nearly nine in 10 Millennials and Gen Z say they binge watch video content. Deloitte defines binge watching as viewing at least three or more episodes in one session. It’s time for marketers and content produces to think differently about reaching the binge-watching audiences. An advertiser may want to try product placements in a series for added frequency. Content producers may want to think about new distribution strategies such as releasing content as a bingeable mini-series instead of offering a feature-length movie. Of the content streamed, paid streamed content comprises 35% of consumers streaming time and free services take up 40% of stream time.
- Social recommendations are proving more influential than TV ads. More than a quarter (27%) of Gen Z consumers report that an online recommendation from someone within their social media circles can highly influence a buying decision. This can be more impactful than TV ads (18%).
- Advertising struggles for attention. When the TV is turned on, it competes with everything for attention. Nearly all Gen Z and Millennials (99%) report multitasking when they are watching television reporting an average of four other activities occurring simultaneously. Further, eight in 10 (80%) consumers’ report skipping online video ads when allowed, and just over two-thirds (67%) of consumers report mobile ads on theirs phone are irrelevant.
- Digital ad avoidance is growing. Almost half (45%) of Millennials use ad blocking software on desktop. Forty percent report using it on their smartphones with 85% doing so to improve the speed and performance of their online experience.
- Relevant and optional are key to engaging ads. More than half of all consumers say that they would be willing to receive geographically relevant ads on their smartphones. Further, nearly half (46%) of consumers say they pay more attention to an ad they can skip versus an ad they cannot skip.
- Social media usage is ubiquitous. A full 84% of all consumers are active on social networks. Penetration is higher among Millennials (96%) and 93% Gen Z (93%).
- Social media helps in connecting consumers to companies. Consumers interact with corporations, with more than 70% of Millennials reporting that they used social media to interact with customer service in the last year. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Millennials find their interaction with customer service on social media more positive than connecting with customer service on the phone (70%).
Consumers are now conditioned to watch content whenever, wherever, and on whatever device they choose. The constant availability of streaming content and social media offer new opportunities in the marketplace. Advertisers and content creators can form new relationships with the consumer, interacting with and personalizing the consumer experience.