Recent Changes in Media Consumption

Recent Changes in Media Consumption
Teens watching TV

Deloitte’s Digital Democracy Survey examined the generational media consumption habits of U.S. consumers. The first major trend that the research revealed was the breaking away from traditional TV. Streaming is gaining momentum across multiple generations. Many respondents reported spending a lot of time streaming free content. Consumers are spending 40 percent of their time streaming with free services.

Consumers are not afraid of spending money on paid streaming services as well. Almost half (49 percent) of US consumers now subscribe to paid streaming video services. Further, they are streaming content from paid services approximately 35 percent of the time.

A second major trend has been the expansion of a binge-watching culture—watching three or more episodes in one season. A little under three quarters (73 percent) of US consumers reported that they have binge-watched video content. Millennials and Gen Z led the way with 90 percent of each generation reported binge-watching. Consumers—particularly Millennials and Gen Z are also binge-watching regularly. Specifically, approximately 40 percent of Millennials and Gen Zers reported binge-watching weekly. Binge-watchers reported viewing an average of six episodes, or five hours of content, in a single sitting.

A third and final trend in media consumption has been the adoption of social media as mainstream media. Social media is becoming a primary network for everything. Eighty-four percent of all consumers reported being on social networks. Even more (90 percent) of Gen Z respondents and Millennials reported being on social media. Social media is being used to discover new content and get news. Gen Z respondents and Millennials reported that social networks are more effective than TV commercials for learning about new shows. With regard to news, 33 percent of Millennials and Gen Z respondents reported getting their news primarily from social media.