TV & Movies

Millennials Take Nearly 10 Minutes to Pick a Streaming Show, 2 Minutes More Than Most Adults

Streamers 18 to 34 spend 9.4 minutes deciding on what to watch, new Nielsen report finds

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If you can’t make a quick decision when you fire up Netflix or Hulu, you aren’t the only one.

Streaming customers 18 and older in the U.S. take 7.4 minutes on average browsing for something to watch before ultimately picking a show, according to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report released on Monday morning. And for Millennials and Gen Z’ers, the content conundrum is even more stark; streamers 18-34 take 9.4 minutes on average to decide on a show — the most time out of any age group — according to the report.

Grandma and grandpa, on the other hand, aren’t wasting as much time, with respondents 65 and older saying it takes them about 5 minutes to make their choice.

And perhaps in a sign there are too many shows and movies to browse through now, 21% of all viewers 18 and older said they simply give up and decide to not watch anything whenever they start looking for shows.

“This suggests that streaming platforms could better refine the recommendations to better suit the tastes of users,” Peter Katsingris, Nielsen’s senior vice president of audience insights, said in the report. “What’s more is that 26% of these users said they watched content based on the recommendations provided to them–only 5 percentage points higher.”

According to the report, viewers either know exactly what they want to watch when they go to stream — or end up taking their sweet time making their choice. About 66% of streaming viewers “know what they want to watch when tuning in,” the report found.

Interestingly, the report found that overall video consumption — whether watching on TV, a computer or smartphone — dropped 11 minutes on average from the first half of 2018 to the first half of 2019, with adults watching 5 hours and 46 minutes of content per day. Nielsen attributed the dip to “special TV happenings,” like the Winter Olympics, not airing this year.

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