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Younger viewers watch more Online Video than Live TV – don’t worry though, we have tools for both.

You are almost certainly familiar with the changing landscape of media viewership in the US. The battle between traditional and newer media has many fronts, which has led to hypotheses attempting to answer “why” each is occurring.

First, for context, we will take a step back to explain: On the surface, both mediums return fairly similar overall exposure levels – with Live TV edging Online Video by about eight points.

However, when one breaks this data out by the standard generational age groups, it is easy to see why this is indeed a “battle” between these two mediums. Live TV viewership among Millennials is roughly half of what it is among Baby Boomers. On the other hand, Online Video is roughly twice as popular among Millennials as it is among Baby Boomers.

The trend is not necessarily going favorably for Live TV with regard to age. In fact, our data suggests that those below the age of 42 are actually more likely to consume Online Video than Live TV.

While we are able to put numbers on this trend in the above graphics, the overall theme is likely not terribly surprising to you.

Naturally, you may be wondering if this trend is contingent on other factors. One potential factor that we thought would be interesting to investigate is income. Specifically, we hypothesized that because younger consumers have less disposable income, they are therefore less able to afford Live TV packages that can be pricey and less flexible.

Our data suggests that while this may be occurring at some level, it is ultimately dwarfed by the age dynamic.

When we dive into the data split by age and income tiers, having a middle-to-higher income appears to yield a higher likelihood of having exposure to Live TV – among all age generations.  However, even among the middle-to-higher income consumers, there is still quite a gap between Boomers and Millennials of around 40 points.  Perhaps even higher income Millennials are constrained by their disposable income levels – as they are more likely to be paying off student loan debt as well as the earlier stages of mortgages, etc. than their older counterparts.  That said, this sizable gap between Boomers and Millennials hardly budges regardless of income levels.

Net: The higher income tide raises all ships, but there is still a very strong age dynamic that does not go away.

With Online Video, there are some similarities to Live TV in that the more income you have the more likely you are to be exposed to Online Video. Most entertainment costs at least some amount of money, so this trend among income tiers makes sense. However, regardless of income, there is still a sizable gap between Millennials’ Online Video consumption and that of Baby Boomers – nearly 40 points here too.

This data suggests quite a change is occurring with these mediums. Change can be uncomfortable, but it is quite an opportunity for greater success among those who are prepared. We here at MSW Research have many different tools that provide a validated assessment of advertising effectiveness across both Live TV and Online Videos – or a campaign involving both or more. We can help guide you through these changing times with solutions that are both trusted and flexible.

For more information, please contact Art Klein at

Thank you for reading.

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