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Published on August 17th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


Teen streaming video viewing habits surprisingly high, new study shows

It’s no surprise America’s teenagers are spending more time on social media, but streaming TV viewing is an intricate part of their daily lives, according to a new study that reveals youth are now using TV-connected devices more than an hour a day.

The newest quarterly Total Audience Report by Nielsen shows that while just one in every 10 minutes of TV is streamed through a smart TV or TV-connected device – like Apple TV – almost one-quarter, or 23 percent, of teens’ total TV minutes are spent streaming video.

Teens are ahead of other demographic groups, with 18-34-year-olds spending a slightly smaller share at 18 percent of their TV minutes streaming video, according to the study.

Daily Time Spent on TV-Connected DevicesAmerican’s teens are streaming TV on connected devices like Apple TV at a much higher rate than some industry experts had expected. Source: Nielsen

Fully half of teens’ video streaming minutes are spent with gaming consoles, a figure that drops precipitously among older age groups. Just 27 percent of 18-34-year-olds’ video streaming minutes is with consoles.

By contrast, older age groups tend to apportion more of their streaming minutes to Internet-connected devices and smart TVs. The 35-49 bracket spends half of its streaming video time using internet-connected devices, while smart TVs are responsible for the greatest share of streaming time at 44 percent for those ages 50 and older.

18-34-year-olds, who spend the most time daily streaming, spend one hour and 15 minutes per day using TV-connected devices such as game consoles, Apple TVs, and smart TVs.

Kids ages 2 to 11 averaged 1 hour and 10 minutes per day with TV-connected devices during the first quarter, and teens ages 12-17 spent 1 hour and 4 minutes per day with them.

By comparison, older Americans are watching traditional TV via over-the-air, cable, or satellite. The 65-plus bracket averages just 18 minutes per day with TV-connected devices, instead devoting much more time to traditional TV.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

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