Do Young People Still Watch Television?

May 17, 2017 Advertising Questions

The rise of the internet a couple of decades ago was seen as a major challenge for the TV and electronic media industry. Even rudimentary video sharing websites managed to gain a strong foothold in the everyday lives of users. However, it wasn’t until YouTube was born that the TV industry really began to feel the pinch. YouTube and other forms of social media – like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vine – promised a whole new world of content created by the users, for the users. Looking back at our viewing habits today, it doesn’t appear that that model has exactly worked as intended. Sure, there has been a shift in TV viewing styles and demographics, but the good old television remains a firmly anchored staple of the modern American home. As a matter of fact, nearly all American households – 98 percent to be precise – own at least one television.

Demographics of TV Viewers

Recently, marketing research firm Nielsen released data based on six years-worth of extensive research into the TV viewing habits of American people. Here are some of the key findings of the research:

Young People Still Watch TV

The report found that millennials between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four still watch a weekly average of more than fifteen hours’ worth of TV – that translated to over two hours every single day. In fact, in the past three years, this is the second smallest decline noticed in the number of TV viewers among eighteen to twenty-four year olds.

Generation X Still Loves its TV

Generation X, comprised of people between the ages of thirty-five and forty-nine watches around thirty-one hours of TV per week, or more than four hours per day.

The Adult Demographic Stays Strong:

Adults above the age of fifty are still the largest viewers of TV, with an average viewing time ranging from six to eight hours per day.

Half of All Americans Use Online Subscription Services:

The research also found that nearly half of all Americans now have online subscriptions to services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon prime in their homes.

Mobile is the Next Big Thing:

Americans love their tablets and mobile phones, spending between thirty minutes and two hours on these devices each day. This marks an increase of over 60 percent in just a couple of years.


There is no doubt that TV watching habits are changing steadily, but there is no need for alarm yet. All audience groups still continue to watch TV, and for adults, this habit is gradually increasing over time. This translates to people having more purchasing power still relying on TV for entertainment and information. On the other hand, while younger individuals are switching to other methods of catching their favorite seasons and movies, they still spend a significant amount of time each day watching traditional TV. With that in mind, TV continues its long-standing legacy as the premium method of choice for advertising, even today. To learn more about how you can advertise to young people in the Portland market, contact Raven Marketing at 503-954-1473.