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SVOD a great holiday gift for millennials, maybe!

Online video viewing frequency

Are you wondering what to get the young adults on your shopping list this holiday season? A subscription to Disney+ and Apple TV+ could be the perfect gift.

Millennials more likely to exist without pay TV

According to research from OpenX and The Harris Poll, 27% of U.S. adults planning on shopping for holidays do not have a traditional pay TV. 18% had it and cut the cord, while 9% never had it. 42% of holiday shoppers either plan to get rid of cable in the next or don’t currently have it. However, more than half of millennials either don’t have pay TV or are planning to get rid of it.[1]

Interest and use of online video among millennials much higher

Given the above data, it is not surprising that millennials spend far more time with streaming services. OpenX says they spend 75% more streaming video than watching traditional TV. As well, 84% of millennials say that they use at least one streaming video service.

cable status 201918-34-year-olds also watch online video far more frequently than average. Manatt-Vorhaus says that half of U.S. adults watch online video daily, but two-thirds of 18-34-year-olds say the same. What’s more, only 7% say they watch less than once a month versus 20% of the average.

18-34s are more interested in subscribing to new SVOD services than average. In the Manatt-Vorhaus study, participants were asked to rate their interest in a theoretical new streaming service described as:

“How interested are in you this type of service at $10.00 a month, per service? – A number of new services are being launched soon that will stream high-quality content to your connected TV, computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. They will offer content such as television shows, movies, and other content from major studios and producers.”

67% of 18-34s said they were very or somewhat interested in subscribing to the service, while 59% of the average respondent said the same.

They are probably watching with smartphone

While television remains the primary entertainment medium for the average adult, the smartphone leads with 18-34s. 43% of adults say TV is their primary way of watching, with 19% of 18-34s saying the same. 29% of 18-34s say the smartphone is primary versus 16% for the average adult.

Not uncoincidentally, both Apple TV+ and Disney+ allow users to download all the content available in the service. Such a feature is especially valuable to mobile users as connectivity can be a challenge in many mobile viewing situations.

That smiley face is an upside-down frown!

One word of warning if you are thinking of giving the gift of SVOD. To the recipient, it may not feel like a gift at all. Password sharing among family members is widespread, according to a survey by IBM Cloud Video. It could be that the person you gift a year’s subscription of Netflix or Disney+ to already has access through a parent or sibling.

Why it matters

Young adults can be very difficult to shop for in the holidays.

Their reliance on connected viewing could make them a great target for the gift of SVOD.

They might not be happy with the gift if they are already using the service by borrowing a family member’s password.


[1] The OpenX survey refers to millennials without precisely defining the age range. Millennials are, at the time of writing, between 23 and 38. However, there is still a big overlap with the other age range discussed in this opinion piece: 18 to 34.

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