Survey: 22% of 18-34 Demo Are Broadcast-Only

Market research company GfK says that a quarter of U.S. TV households do not have either a cable or satellite subscription, with younger people even more likely to be over-the-air-only viewers than the general population.

That comes from GfK's 2016 Ownership and Trend Report, which shows that 17% of U.S. TV households rely on broadcast service, up from 15% in 2015, while another 6% say they rely on internet video services including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or YouTube and do not watch either broadcast or traditional pay TV, up from 4% in 2015.

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Interestingly, the younger demo (18-34) is most likely to opt for broadcast versus cable with 22% saying they are using over-the-air reception versus an MVPD and 13% saying they were using their TV sets to view internet video.

“The fact that a statistically significant increase in broadcast-only reception occurred over just one year may be further proof that the cord-cutting/cord-never phenomenon is accelerating,” said David Tice, senior VP in GfK’s media & entertainment practice. “If you include homes that have no TVs at all – about 3% of all households – then less than three quarters (73%) of US homes continue to have pay TV service, with the attendant implications for all stakeholders – not just the pay TV services themselves, but also networks, content providers, and advertisers.”

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The study, a part of GfK’s The Home Technology Monitor reports, was conducted among 3,009 households.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.