Nielsen observes that live television remains the main medium for watching video in the United States. While there is wide variation by region, people still seem to be watching a surprising amount of television. A study from the United Kingdom suggests that those aged 16-34 watch less television than average, through various life stages. Or so they say.
In its Local Watch report, Nielsen looks at viewing across different markets in the United States. Although around half of households now have Netflix, traditional television viewing remains dominant.
Among people aged 25-54, those in Cleveland watch live television for an average of 4 hours 42 minutes a day, plus a further 56 minutes watching time-shifted television, and only 9 minutes a day on a multimedia device, like an Apple TV, Roku box, Chromecast or similar product.
In San Francisco, live television viewing is down to 2 hours 45 minutes a day, with a further 39 minutes time-shifted, but still only 17 minutes a day on a multimedia device.
African-Americans in Detroit watch live television for over 7 hours day. In New York the average is 5 hours 37 minutes, while it is 5 hours 21 minutes in Washington, DC. Viewing on a multimedia device is around 10 minutes a day, rising to 21 minutes in Atlanta and Los Angeles.
Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, recent research from consultancy L.E.K. suggests that people aged between 16-34 not only spend less time on traditional media than older generations, but that behaviour continues through life stages.
Based on a self-reported survey, it found that millennials spend only 35% of their media time with traditional media, compared with 60% for non-millennials.
Significantly, it found that while use of traditional media is lowest for students and flat sharers, it remains lower even as people get their own home and have children.
This suggests that as this internet generation grows up and have children they will not watch as much television as their parents did and in many cases continue to.
Millennials are not surprisingly more likely to use online subscription video services like Netflix.
The report suggests that these habits spread to older generations, from teenagers at home, to their parents, to wider family and their networks of friends.
While appearing to confirm the view that millennials behave differently to previous generations, one should always remain cautious about self-reported surveys.
According to the survey, the millennials claimed to watch around 10 hours a week of television, approaching 12 hours for those with young families.
Ofcom, based on BARB panel data, reports that in 2014 people aged 16-24 watched for an average of 138 minutes a day while those aged 25-34 watched for 169 minutes a day. That is between 16 and nearly 20 hours a week.
Those aged 16-34 have generally tended to watch less than older viewers. The amount of viewing has declined over the last few years, but perhaps not as much as some might imagine.
The Local Watch report is available from Nielsen. The The Perennial Millennial report from L.E.K. Consulting is based on online research in September 2015 of 1,308 millennials and 685 non-millennials living in the United Kingdom.