Broadcast TV Still Tops Digital Video

But media consumption habits vary across generations

The advent of digital video has meant that traditional TV is increasingly losing ground to newer media channels.

But although broadcast TV is getting long in the tooth, it still remains the top media channel worldwide, when measured by consumption, according to new data from Salesforce.

More than eight in 10 (81%) internet users worldwide polled by the company in October 2017 said they watched broadcast TV at least monthly. That was more than any other media channel, including radio, streaming video, cable or satellite TV and online or print news periodicals.

But Salesforce's data also showed sharp generational divides in media consumption habits, especially when it came to video.

For example, while 72% of baby boomers/traditionalists watched traditional linear TV at its time of broadcast, only 58% of Gen Xers and 42% of millennials/Gen Zers did the same.

Meanwhile, streaming video services had nearly the opposite usage rates. About two-thirds of millennials and Gen Zers watched a TV show or movie on a streaming platform, compared with just 23% of baby boomers and traditionalists, and 40% of Gen Xers.

This illustrates a pretty stark difference in video and TV consumption habits, with older users still practicing appointment viewing habits for broadcast programming on traditional TVs. Younger users are more used to watching video content when they want to, and on a varied number of devices.

In fact, Salesforce found that millennials and Gen Zers were more than three times more likely than baby boomers and traditionalists to watch a piece of video content to completion across more than one device.

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