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Millennials Driving Changes in Entertainment Consumption, LAES Speakers Say

9 Jul, 2015 By: Stephanie Prange

Millennials aren’t keen on entertainment ownership, and subscription service Netflix is a dominant online entertainment player globally.

Those were two of the key findings reported during research presentations at the Los Angeles Entertainment Summit July 6-8.

Millennials, between the ages of 14 and 31, have adopted digital devices more than any other cohort and consider streaming services such as Netflix to be very important, with more than 70% of them streaming monthly versus 56% of all respondents surveyed, noted Deloitte’s Kevin Westcott. Also, more than 80% of Millennials binge watch, versus 68% of all respondents.

Westcott said that while some assume “they will all become like us when they have mortgages,” Millennials are in fact driving a sea change in entertainment consumption toward SVOD.

“A new power is rising,” said NPD’s Vincent Moy, quoting “The Lord of the Rings” to illustrate the change in demographics and entertainment consumption.

While disc sales continue to decline, the advent of 4K TVs could become a driving force in reviving the market as discs can offer better quality, said IHS’s Dan Cryan.

“There’s room to tip this up,” he said, noting that Millennials do buy games on disc, showing they aren’t completely averse to purchases.

Nielsen’s Matthew Yazge noted that while the number of people buying discs has dropped 3% year-to-date, it is the drop in the number of discs that each is buying that is driving the falloff in disc sales.

Electronic-sellthrough growth is a bright spot in the ownership market, growing 30% in the first quarter, noted Rentrak’s Chris Roberts, and is projected to bring in $2 billion this year.

While EST is growing, “browsing in an EST world is still very difficult,” especially when contrasted with content discovery on SVOD services such as Netflix, Moy said.

“Netflix does a really great job,” he said. “The SVOD world has an advantage there.”

One of the problems with EST is the sheer number of purchase possibilities.

“Infinite shelf space makes for a terrible retail experience,” added Cryan, noting that the EST industry has yet to merchandise digital purchases as well as it does physical.

Yazge, a Millennial himself, said he occasionally does purchase entertainment he likes to watch over and over.

Still, “if it’s going to be available on Netflix, I’m probably not going to pay for it,” he said.

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