I am the TV generation. When I was about 6 years old there were only a few TV shows on for the entire day. Watching a TV show was like going to the movies. The shows multiplied and then came color, then better sound, then Big SCREENS and HD. I am a TV junky, turn it on and my brain waves go flat. . . love it. So I am especially alarmed by data coming out for the last few years. Between 2010 and 2012 TV viewing by 18 – 24 year olds fell 10% and is continuing its decline. Recent reports by Nielson and Comescore state that 1/3 are not watching any at all!!
This graph shows that only about 10% of U.S. 18-24 year olds are watching traditional TV. This increases to 15% by age 25 where fully 50% of all video is viewed on Smartphones or Tablets.
In China where technology has leapfrogged rest of world the numbers are even more dramatic. Where a China Internet Watch revealed that as many as 50% of respondents do not watch any TV. And when asked whether they would prefer a TV show or online video, 75% responded Video.
What does this mean for the future of advertising? The younger generations are clearly choosing flexibility over comfort. Giving up the Big Screen TV in exchange for having a virtually unlimited choice selection and unrestricted viewing by either location or time. However, with companies like Netflix bringing traditional TV shows to the “online video experience” and Chinese online video giant YouKu releasing individual channels it becomes clear that the evolution of TV/ video is far from over. It appears that the only thing that is clear is personalization of the experience is key to teens and millennials.