Academy blog

Hey NYC – Watcha Watching?

This summer, NPAW partnered with electronics giant Ericsson to conduct an informal survey where we posed a question to millennial New Yorkers  – ‘whatcha watchin’. Along the way, we got to chat with so many different people – from the Big Apple’s hometown boys to those adopted Gothamites who were born overseas, moved to NYC and subsequently call the city home. We wanted to know how they were shaping the future of video.

So what did we discover? Well here’s a taste of how New York consumes video:

Traditional TV vs. OTT and Streaming Services

Millennials are leading the transition towards user generated content (UGC), OTT, Streaming services. However, when asked of their motives for watching television via cable or satellite subscriptions, most respondents claimed it was to view specific, cable or satellite exclusive programming. In a generation cutting cords or abstaining from cable entirely, it makes one wonder why individuals with a cable subscription keep the cable subscription. For now, exclusive programming is attractive, from premium shows like The Walking Dead or officially licensed broadcasts of NFL, MLB and other sporting events (as well as ESPN-style commentary after the fact) cable is keeping a market. But as Twitter, Facebook, and similar platforms incorporate video tactics, we’ll see how long this lasts.  

Social media becomes a major hub for video

Online sources need to become more hip. Millennial respondents seem to find user-generated content (UGC), the likes of which can be found on Youtube, Instagram, and similar platforms to be more influential on social media than that of cable networks, broadcasting operations. The minor age difference between those who value the influence of social media the most (17-25) and those who value it the least (26-30+) reveals how quickly overtime the results will favor Social Media, User Generated Content, and Subscription-based content more than Traditional TV. This is important because Millennials are future content viewers, and this may be indicative of how they seem to put great trust other Millennials, who have a larger voice on user-generated content platforms than others. And this is by no small margin, Mashable cites research conducted by Ipsos and Crowdtap reports that Millennials are 50% more likely to trust a peer than a professional.

Go Binge While at Home…or wherever you are

Millennials like freedom . Whether it’s food freedom, fashion freedom, or video freedom, at the end of the day Millennials value being in control. When we asked Millennials about the fashion by which they watch VOD, Time of Day (such as ‘when I get home from work’), and Density of View Time (so-called Bingewatching) dominated the response. One of the minority preferences was linear-consumption. If given the choice, it seems Millennials would rather bingewatch three seasons of Girls than tune into a new broadcast. The 10th annual Digital Democracy Survey, from consulting firm Deloitte, found that on average 84% of millennials have binge watch. A treasure trove of content to bingewatch, and at a friendlier price tag than pay TV – throwing off the shackles of pay TV has never felt so good.

Millennials are shaping the future of video. To get their attention, content providers and distributors will have to play be their rules. Starting now increases the odds of a successful future.

Just another thing to think about from us here at NPAW.

James Noeker on November 29th 2016

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