Millennials Won’t ‘Grow Out’of Their Preferences for OTT

-Cord-Cutting Trends Spread to UK

Millennials’ viewing habits are firmly established and are in fact spreading to other age demographics in the UK, according to new research from LEK Consulting.

The findings go against the conventional wisdom that’s rampant in the pay TV industry, which is that Millennials will grow into large, pricey bundles of pay TV subscriptions once they form households and begin having children. LEK defines Millennials as viewers between the ages of 16 and 34 in 2015.

The LEK study found that 45% of Millennials without children and 56% of Millennials with children currently subscribe to pay TV in the UK.

Among Millennial pay TV subs, 45% subscribe to an SVoD OTT service or plan to do so by the end of the year.

Millennials - Students_of_CEU

British Millennial TV viewing habits are following worldwide trends


Of those “cord-cheaters,” a whopping 60% plan to reduce or all together cancel their pay TV subscriptions. In other words, the majority of Millennial pay TV subs with SVoD OTT subscriptions plan to cut or shave their pay TV cord in the UK.

“The research shows that media consumption trends are broadly consistent throughout the life stages of the millennial generation,” the firm said. “Their behavior is also viral and spreading to non-millennial families and older generations.”

The survey found Millennials spend less time than other age people watching traditional linear TV. Millennials average only 10 hours per week watching pay TV, compared to 20 hours averaged by older generations. Total video consumption among Millennials is only slightly less than older demos in the UK.

Millennials watch an average of 24 hours per week of video across platforms – whether online or on traditional TV – whereas older demographics average 27 hours per week total watching video.

That means Millennials are watching a lot more Internet-delivered video than people of other ages. The survey also found that consumption of traditional linear TV isn’t affected much by whether or not millennial viewers have children. LEK found Millennials with families average 12 hours of traditional TV per week, compared to 10 hours per week averaged for the entire millennial group.

LEK said online video is an important source of content for Millennials, particularly YouTube. Its survey found 46% of Millennials watch YouTube every day, with very little difference again between older and young viewers within the cohort, or those with families compared to those without 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 LEK’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 organizations will need to adapt more rapidly to this fast-emerging new competitive environment.”

And perhaps most important to the Web video industry, the survey found Millennials are …

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