Younger Viewers Bring New Approaches to Primetime TV Viewing

Although overall time spent watching television in primetime has changed remarkably little in the past four years, the specifics of how, what — and even where- that viewing happens are being transformed, according to a new report from Knowledge Networks. These changes in the primetime experience are being driven in part by the very different habits of Generation X, Millennials, and Young Baby Boomers

According to How People Use(R) Primetime TV — produced as part of KN’s The Home Technology Monitor- the proportion of people “typically
watching TV” in a given hour between 8 PM and midnight has remained stable – with shifts of 0 to 2 percentage points in each hour — since 2004, when KN produced its last report on primetime television viewing.

But there are signs that a more purposeful approach to viewing is being abetted by technologies such as DVRs and the ability to have a TV set to

“Primetime represents an important block of time when people want to be entertained and informed,” said David Tice, Vice President and director of The Home Technology Monitor. “It is becoming less about the shows’ or TV networks’ schedules; more and more consumers can find what interests them and watch it when they find time. The more flexibility that media companies offer consumers for watching on their own terms, in their “personal primetime,” the more viewing hours they will capture.”

The report also includes a section that compares primetime viewing in 1994, 2004, and 2008. The Home Technology Monitor provides the most authoritative information on the media technologies consumers have access to — from cellular phones with video service to digital video recorders; its reports draw on trend data from 1981 to the present, as well as KN’s trademarked How People Use approach to studying consumers’ interactions with media. Its newest report is an annual overview of Ownership and Trends in media technology; to produce the study, KN conducted 2,636 in-depth interviews with a representative sample of households nationwide.

Knowledge Networks specializes in solving complex, high-impact problems, providing extraordinary quality and service to leaders in business, government and academia. We work closely with clients to create healthy consumer-brand connections, effective marketing and advertising, sound public policies, and accurate social science research. We have established respected practices in media, marketing, advertising, and government & academic studies. KN excels in study design, analytics, and custom panel creation; we deliver affordable, statistically valid online research through KnowledgePanel- the only available probability selected, nationally representative Internet panel.

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