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Millennials and Video: Love To Watch It, Hate To Pay For It

The millennial generation has proven to be a troublesome one for the video content industry. That’s not because millennials are not consuming video content, quite the contrary–millennials love video content and consume it at a rapid rate. However, they hate paying for it. A recent study confirmed the fears of many industry professionals: most 18-to-34-year-olds have no trouble accessing video content in a cord-free world.

A new study by market research company Gfk MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer provides some illuminating statistics on this subject. Firstly, the difference between the boomers and the millennials is instantly quantified when looking at the percentage of the generation that has either cut the cord or never paid for cable, satellite or fiber-optic television services in the first place. Of the boomer generation a mere 16% fall into that category, while the millennials generation nearly doubles that with 30%.

While this may seem like great news for OTT services like Netflix, Hulu and HBONow, the millennial disdain for paying for television content could easily migrate to the OTT space. For now, these OTT providers can take solace in the fact that the same Gfk MRI survey shows that millennials spend 65% of their viewing time streaming content via a TV set or other device.

This leads to another important point to remember about the millennial generation: they love to share. MultiChannel news points out that a spring 2016 IBM Cloud Video survey found that close to half of millennials have used another person’s password to access an online video platform like Netflix and Hulu. Another 42% of millennials openly admit to sharing their login information for these sites with family members.

These numbers don’t necessarily spell out trouble for OTT services, but they do reinforce the notion that millennials are tech savvy and not happy when they have to pay for their video content. Most millennials still remember cable growing up, and likely paid for some kind of video content at some point in their lives. However, a new generation is coming. A generation that has never paid for video content, and likely never will. This generation is what cable/satellite distributors and OTT services alike need to watch out for, as eventually that generation is going to be the one they rely on to stay in business.



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