October 28, 2020
Viewing on a smartphone or tablet now accounts for more than 40% of all video consumption hours among Gen Z heads of U.S. broadband households, compared to just 20% among all heads of domestic broadband households, according to new data from Parks Associates.
The Dallas-based research firm found Americans overall view more video on TVs than on PCs, and PCs more than mobile devices. However, device preference is strongly generational, and both millennials and Gen Z do most of their viewing on devices other than TVs.
“Since the introduction of the PC, and later smartphones and tablets, consumers’ viewing habits have evolved to include these new device types alongside the television,” analyst Kristen Hanich said in a statement. “These devices have become increasingly important to consumers, with mobile devices and PCs together capturing roughly half of consumer-reported viewing time. Companies in the entertainment space, particularly those targeting members of Generation Z, must make mobile and PCs part of their plans.”
Jodi Susman, CMO, Penthera, a software development company that worked with Parks on the study, said the data suggests Gen Z’s high affinity for mobile video means its role is going to continue growing in the upcoming years.
“There’s also an important lesson here for the industry: It’s crucial to ensure a seamless experience on all platforms,” Susman said.
The report found that among Gen Z, the demo dedicates the largest share of its viewing time to mobile devices, then PCs, with the TV having the smallest share. Among millennials, while the TV has the higher share of viewing than PCs and mobile independently, collectively the two platforms account for almost two-thirds of viewing time.
“In 2020, Americans as a whole are largely multiscreen,” Hanich said. “Almost two-thirds of consumers view on multiple devices, including their mobile device, a TV, or a PC. Multiplatform viewing is highest among members of Gen Z, signifying that these viewers demand equal support for mobile, PCs, and TVs.”