Nielsen’s most recent study indicates that Americans aged 18-24 watched a weekly average of a little less than 22 hours of traditional TV during Q1 2014. That was a 95-minute drop-off from Q1 2013, which in turn had been down by 80 minutes from the year before. In fact, in the space of 3 years, Q1 TV viewing by 18-24-year-olds dropped by a little more than 4-and-a-half hours per week. That’s a substantial amount, equivalent to roughly 40 minutes per day.
Traditional TV viewing among 18-24-year-olds in Q1 2014 was down by almost 7% year-over-year.
The decreases in viewing might reflect increasing consumption of over-the-top video, although it should be noted that the Nielsen data indicates that time spent watching traditional TV still exceeds online and smartphone video by a considerable margin, even among youth. Indeed, research suggests that online video tends to largely act as a complement rather than a replacement for traditional TV, at least for the time being.