Millennials make up more than one-fifth of the American population watching TV today, and yet this age group is a totally mixed bag of media consumers. Some are tuning in to TV with paid cable while others are not, and some aren’t watching on TVs at all.
The New York Times reports that millennials ages 18-34 without children are the least likely generation to pay for cable to watch their TV shows. About 25 percent of this population is tuning in with basic antennas or via the Internet.
On the other hand, millennials who have had children are more likely to pay for cable — 80 percent currently subscribe. Experts think that the trend for millennials to start paying for cable once they have children could be due to an interest in providing their children with exclusive programming, but also perhaps because these parents have more developed careers and higher salaries by this time in their lives.
Meanwhile, the youngest millennials are not only consuming less TV via paid cable, they’re consuming less TV via actual television sets. Viewers ages 14-25 watch their TV shows on smartphones, tablets and computers combined more than on actual TVs. And among those ages 18-24, according to The New York Times, smartphone-based media consumption overall has almost doubled in the last year, totaling about 40 hours per month.
The world eagerly continues to monitor the media trends of aging millennials to see how their behaviors shape the ever-evolving relationship between TV and technology.