More teens watch TV on demand than live, as smartphone ownership continues to grow

Girl watching TV on tablet33 per cent of teenagers regularly view TV content via a smartphone, up from 25 per cent in 2016, as viewing habits continue to shift toward mobile and on demand streaming.

According to research by media agency MediaCom, 38 per cent of teens consume TV through on demand services most frequently, compared to the 35 per cent that choose watching live TV as their most common way to view programming.

Netflix is the most used streaming service with 58 per cent of 13-19 year olds using the service, but is the only platform that hasn’t experienced growth in the past year. Amazon Instant Video is used by 32 per cent of teens, up from 24 per cent last year, while 15 per cent of teens use NowTV and 11 per cent Apple TV.

“Mobile and on demand services have changed viewing patterns of everyday consumers,” said Josh Krichefski, MediaCom CEO. “Whilst 84 per cent of young people regularly watch live programming on TV, the explosion of streaming services such as NowTV and Amazon Instant Video show that ‘live’ is no longer the only way kids watch. Consumers now have an even greater choice of when, where and how to watch their favourite videos, shows and movies – and the shift towards smartphone viewing is increasing. On-demand capabilities are critical to the popularity of shows for adults like Game of Thrones and those for kids like Power Rangers in 2017’s viewing eco-system.”

MediaCom’s research also found that smartphone ownership has seen significant growth among pre-teens – with 66 per cent of 8-12 year olds now owning a smartphone, up from 58 per cent last year. At the same time, tablet ownership has declined by eight per cent in 8-12 year olds and four per cent in those over 13.

Additionally, MediaCom found that many youths are aware of the issues surrounding data privacy. 49 per cent of 8-12 year olds are concerned about the information advertisers have about them, an increase of 10 per cent. 47 per cent of 13-16 year olds feel unease – up six per cent – while 17-19 year olds are the most concerned at 54 per cent.

“The research shows that digitally-savvy young consumers have the measure of the advertising industry,” said Rafael Laguna, Open-Xchange CEO. “They won’t stand idly by as it harvests their data for profit. Tomorrow’s consumers are acutely aware of the risks to their data. As younger generations enter the market internet service providers, app developers and digital businesses will have to respond to their privacy and security demands. Failure to do so will mean leave them cut off from the flourishing new economy of privacy.

“Politically, teenagers’ firm support for data privacy should cause Theresa May’s government concern. The incoming Snoopers Charter is likely to push largely liberal young voters even further into the hands of Labour. Giving-up protections to their personal liberty and handing the government the keys to their data is something younger voters clearly won’t tolerate. Labour’s call for stronger data protection regulation will be a strong pull for Jeremy Corbyn in any upcoming election.”