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Millennial viewing habits persist as young adults grow older

L.E.KUK millennials’ viewing habits remain broadly consistent as they get older, meaning media players will need to “adapt more rapidly to the new reality” of OTT video, according to L.E.K Consulting.

The management consulting firm’s ‘The Perennial Millennial’ report claims that major UK TV companies face the “growing threat” that those aged 16-34 have a preference for new media channels.

By looking at millennials’ different life stages – from living at home with parents to starting a family – L.E.K found that 45% of pre-family millennials and 56% of millennials with children currently have a pay TV subscription – though two thirds are planning to cancel or reduce their pay TV spend.

Millennials were found to spend half the amount of time as non-millennials watching traditional linear and recorded TV (10 hours per week versus 20 hours).

At 11 hours a week, millennials spent more than twice as much time as non-millienials watching online video services, according to the report.

L.E.K said that millennials across all life stages have much higher uptake of online video subscription services like Netflix – 38% for pre-family millennials and 32% for millennials with children, compared to 15% for non-millennials.

Some 46% of millennials were also found to use YouTube every day, compared to 12% among older people, with “no significant reduction for the older millennials with families.”

“Our research has shattered the common assumption that once millennials are older and have their own children they revert to more traditional media consumption patterns,” said Martin Pilkington, head of L.E.K.’s European Media, Entertainment and Technology practice.

“New media companies in the TV industry are rapidly building wallet and mindshare amongst millennials and this is spreading to other generations. Our research findings are a wake-up call to the traditional media players that the change in consumption habits is coming faster and is far more pervasive than they might have thought. Many organisations will need to adapt more rapidly to this fast-emerging new competitive environment.”