70% of consumers binge watch 5 episodes in a sitting, survey says

What’s a person have to do to keep pace with a modern millennial’s media consumption? A lot of television marathoning and even more multitasking.

According to Deloitte’s 10th Digital Democracy Survey of more than 2,200 U.S consumers, 70% of respondents binge watch an average of five episodes in one sitting, with 35% of millennials doing so on a weekly basis.

But it’s not just binge watching that audiences are investing in. Viewers are also beginning to fully embrace streaming video, with 46% of Americans subscribing to at least one streaming video service and young millennials, ages 14 to 25, consuming more online video content than live television.

“The proliferation of online content shows no signs of slowing down and the consumer appetite to consume content is equally voracious,” said Gerald Belson, vice chairman and U.S media and entertainment sector leader for Deloitte Consulting LLP. “The survey data indicates that consumers are more willing than ever to invest in services to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device they choose.”

As for what they watch, 53% of audiences opt for drama and just 19% for laughs when looking for shows to binge, though the survey doesn’t specify what shows they’re watching.

With survey numbers indicating that over a quarter of Americans use ad-blocking software and 66% of respondents stating that they valued streaming services because they allowed for commercial-free viewing, digital advertisers have an uphill battle when it comes to getting their messages across.

Older millennials may be a good indicator of what the future of ad-free television viewing looks like; consumers ages 26 to 32 pay for an average of three streaming video subscriptions to feed their binge-watching demands.

Even more telling may be that among individuals who subscribe to streaming services, 61% now rank the service among their three most valued subscriptions, up from 17% in 2012.

But as much as audiences love their media consumption, they love doing other things while consuming media even more.

Over 90% of respondents report multitasking while watching television — millennials being the most egregious offenders — including surfing the Internet, social networking, text messaging or checking email.

That social media use is so high while millennials are watching TV comes as no surprise in light of other survey results that report two-thirds of the generation saying they value their time interacting with friends on social media as much as they do time spent in person.

In short, if you want to hang with the cool kids, expand your streaming subscriptions, diversify your screen time and up your social media game.

Follow Libby Hill on Twitter @midwestspitfire

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

3:42 p.m.: This article was updated with new quotes and information.

This article was originally published at 2:23 p.m.

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