The digital landscape continues to change when it comes to how we access entertainment. What once seemed normal like grabbing the remote and flipping through TV channels to find something to watch, is steadily becoming a thing of the past. So much so that newer generations see traditional TV-viewing as obsolete.
A recent survey by Verizon reveals that 1 in 5 millennials have never subscribed to a cable or satellite television service. This is a generation born in the 1980s and 90s that certainly grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons and waiting until commercial breaks to run to the kitchen for snacks. So while they’re no strangers to the traditional way of watching TV, millennials are also quick to adapt and accept streaming services as their sole way to watch TV.
By streaming content instead of watching on pay TV, viewers have more freedom to choose when and where they watch, which is also big for the rising generations. Binge-watching is the new movie marathon equivalent, with 47% of Gen Zers saying they prefer to binge versus watch episodic content.
While streaming is clearly the preferred way to go for younger adults and teens, 62% of US adult households in the survey currently subscribe to a cable or satellite television service. However, nearly 1 in 4 say they’ve cut the cord and have switched to streaming. Nearly half of adults (47%) say they have subscribed to a new streaming service since the start of the pandemic, which has clearly boosted consumer’s interest in accessing new entertainment. And 70% say they have binge-watched shows at least once or twice.
Overall traffic on major streaming sites is up 21% today compared to pre-pandemic levels according to Verizon network data. During a time of isolation with a global pandemic raging, viewers were able to find common ground with their friends and family with TV shows and movies, even while being miles apart. In fact, 44% of people say that bonding over streaming content has helped them feel more connected to others during the pandemic.
These elevated streaming habits we’ve developed during quarantine seem to be here to stay. Viewers who currently stream content say they anticipate spending the amount of time or even more than they are now watching streaming service content a year from now.