Mil­len­ni­als And TV: Big Ap­petites, Lit­tle Pa­tience

With more com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket, ser­vice providers are un­der pres­sure to de­liver in­creased choice and im­proved ac­cess to con­tent

Dataquest - - C9ONTENTS - (The au­thor is Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, APAC Sales, TiVo)

Dig­i­tal con­sump­tion is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing break­neck growth in In­dia, af­ter me­dia and tele­coms dis­rup­tor Re­liance Jio burst onto the scene in Septem­ber 2016. The telco’s in­tro­duc­tory of­fer of un­lim­ited 4G data – bun­dled with a suite of val­ueadded of­fer­ings, in­clud­ing pre­mium video – at­tracted 72.4 mil­lion ac­tive sub­scrip­tions within four months of launch. Ac­cord­ing to the Re­liance Jio web­site, its sub­scribers were con­sum­ing around 25x more data than the av­er­age In­dian broad­band user.

With more com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket, ser­vice providers are un­der pres­sure to de­liver in­creased choice and im­proved ac­cess to con­tent. Fail­ure to achieve this could mean frus­trated and dis­en­gaged users. Mil­len­ni­als, the de­mo­graphic born be­tween 1981 and 1995, are in the eye of this storm.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by TiVo2, Mil­len­ni­als con­sume the most con­tent across the largest num­ber of de­vices; on av­er­age, spend­ing 6.2 hours per day watch­ing and streaming con­tent, 32 min­utes per day search­ing for con­tent, and us­ing three streaming de­vices in the home. Due to these pro­lific con­sump­tion habits, they are also more prone to feel­ing frus­trated when they can­not eas­ily ac­cess the con­tent they want to watch.

As the first gen­er­a­tion to grow up in an era where IP con­nected de­vices and ser­vices are ubiq­ui­tous, Mil­len­ni­als have formed ex­cep­tion­ally high ex­pec­ta­tions for cross-plat­form dis­cov­ery solutions. How­ever, these ex­pec­ta­tions re­main largely un­met. With an es­ti­mated 411 mil­lion Mil­len­ni­als in In­dia, ac­count­ing for 30.6% of the coun­try’s to­tal pop­u­la­tion con­tent own­ers and providers in In­dia must work to cre­ate a dis­cov­ery ex­pe­ri­ence that ap­peals to this gen­er­a­tion, cap­tur­ing their con­tin­ued in­ter­est, en­gage­ment and sat­is­fac­tion.


Many con­sumers are sat­u­rated with a plethora of ser­vices, from pay-TV, over-the-top (OTT), sub­scrip­tion video-on­de­mand (SVOD), across mul­ti­ple de­vices and plat­forms, such as streaming de­vices, set-top boxes, mo­bile de­vices and apps. TiVo found that when con­sumers can­not seam­lessly start watch­ing a piece of con­tent on one plat­form and con­tinue watch­ing on an­other – or if con­tent mys­te­ri­ously dis­ap­pears from an ex­ist­ing ser­vice due to li­cens­ing win­dows or if view­ers have to pay for con­tent – they are more likely to ‘show dump’ and give up on con­tent when it be­comes too dif­fi­cult or costly to ac­cess. In these sit­u­a­tions, mil­len­ni­als are par­tic­u­larly un­for­giv­ing.

In the same re­port, TiVo re­vealed that 54% of mil­len­ni­als have ‘show dumped,’ com­pared to just 36% of Gen X view­ers (born be­tween 1965 and 1980) and 17% of Boomers (born from 1946 to 1964). In ad­di­tion, 73% of Mil­len­ni­als have streaming video de­vices at home, com­pared to Gen X at 57% and Boomers at 29%. Mil­len­ni­als also pre­pared to spend more, with 91% pay­ing for at least one sub­scrip­tion streaming ser­vice, com­pared to Gen X at 72% and Boomers at 50%. The study also re­vealed a sim­i­lar “show dump­ing’ trend amongst Gen Z (those born af­ter 1995).

With high con­sump­tion habits and a large ma­jor­ity of mil­len­ni­als pay­ing for con­tent, it’s no won­der they have such high ex­pec­ta­tions for cross-plat­form dis­cov­ery solutions that al­low a seam­less, stress-free en­ter­tain­ment dis­cov­ery ex­pe­ri­ence. These fig­ures sug­gest that the en- ter­tain­ment in­dus­try is frag­mented and con­tent own­ers and providers that rely on loy­alty and con­tin­ued en­gage­ment from their view­ers need to be more con­scious of how con­tent avail­abil­ity af­fects the view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, es­pe­cially for Mil­len­ni­als.


Con­sumers clearly feel that there is room for im­prove­ment when it comes to search and dis­cov­ery; TiVo found that 55% of Mil­len­ni­als would even pay to sim­plify their search ex­pe­ri­ence across plat­forms. To rise above the noise, con­tent own­ers must en­sure that their ser­vices are avail­able across as many de­vices and plat­forms as pos­si­ble so that con­sumers can search and dis­cover con­tent that’s rel­e­vant to them on their pre­ferred plat­form. By do­ing this, con­tent own­ers can sus­tain Mil­len­nial view­er­ship and pre­vent show dump­ing be­fore it hap­pens.

Whether Mil­len­ni­als and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions are binge watch­ers, com­mit­ted view­ers or sea­son show fa­nat­ics, en­abling easy, in­tu­itive ex­pe­ri­ences will also help them to nav­i­gate the ‘con­tent chaos’ and en­joy what they want to watch, when­ever and wher­ever they want to watch it. Mil­len­ni­als are par­tic­u­larly keen to stay on top of the lat­est trends in both tech­nol­ogy and the shows they watch, whether via brows­ing or rec­om­men­da­tions. In­deed, TiVo re­vealed that 53% of Mil­len­ni­als of­ten ex­pect rec­om­men­da­tions on what to watch next. It is there­fore es­sen­tial that con­sumers are pro­vided with per­son­alised pre­dic­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions from their en­ter­tain­ment guide, of­fer­ing them a co­her­ent ex­pe­ri­ence across all po­ten­tial plat­forms.

Con­tent own­ers must be mind­ful of frag­mented ac­cess and pay struc­tures, where ap­pli­ca­ble. Longer term view­er­ship con­ti­nu­ity and the value of a prop­erty over time should be con­sid­ered against short term li­cens­ing in­cen­tives that pre­vents view­ers from ac­cess­ing con­tent in a seam­less, con­tin­u­ous fash­ion.


With smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion in In­dia pro­jected to reach 520 mil­lion by 2020, Ernst & Young In­dia pre­dicts a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in dif­fer­ent for­mats of me­dia be­ing con­sumed on­line across episodes, films, short form con­tent, news, gam­ing, so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and ed­u­ca­tion. This means that the en­ter­tain­ment search and dis­cov­ery process of the fu­ture will be much more hands on and in­ter­ac­tive for these ‘mo­bile first’ gen­er­a­tions. In ad­di­tion to de­liv­er­ing a seam­less and con­sis­tent en­ter­tain­ment dis­cov­ery ex­pe­ri­ence, Mil­len­ni­als will also ex­pect to see much more in the way of con­ver­sa­tional guid­ance tech­nolo­gies.

To be­come fully func­tional and ef­fec­tive for users, voice tech­nolo­gies must be backed by so­phis­ti­cated search ca­pa­bil­i­ties, such as dy­namic, se­man­ti­cally linked knowl­edge graphs cou­pled with deep meta­data. Ul­ti­mately, by build­ing an en­ter­tain­ment ex­pe­ri­ence that in­cludes that lat­est search and dis­cov­ery solutions, Mil­len­ni­als will be more in­clined to en­gage with their favourite shows and keep watch­ing them for longer, and less likely to ‘show dump.’

TiVo found that 55% of Mil­len­ni­als would even pay to sim­plify their search ex­pe­ri­ence across plat­forms

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