Primetime Endures for On-Demand

It is conventional wisdom that viewing on mobile devices and smart TVs, especially of SVOD services like Netflix or online outlets such as YouTube, has disrupted every aspect of traditional TV.

In one respect, though, that is not the case: the notion of primetime. According to a new analysis by RealityMine, a research firm recently tapped by NBCUniversal and TiVo Research to explore streaming consumption of the 2016 Summer Olympics, viewing patterns for streaming strikingly mirror those for linear content. The peak of viewing any digital offerings across any device comes between 8 and 9 p.m., just as in the linear universe, with the majority of consumption occurring between about 6 and 10.

The survey, conducted on a panel of 7,673 U.S. viewers between March and November 2015, found that 89% of younger millennials (18 to 24) who watch TV do so live. Among viewers 55 to 64, that number reaches 96%.

“New viewing options have made it easier and more flexible for consumers to choose when and what to watch instead of planning past time around favorite TV shows,” the report notes. “Although online video is accessible 24/7, interestingly, viewers are still most likely to tune in during TV primetime.”