Over the last few years, there has been a dramatic shift in how consumers purchase and view television. Due to demand, streaming television is experiencing exponential growth and are becoming the new norm in terms of viewing habits. This shift poses questions into what is causing this shift towards streaming television. What are the lifestyle factors, attitudes, and social context that are influencing the product selection and usage of programs such as Netflix and Hulu?
The demographic that is driving this shift is Millennials. This group are defined by being born between the years 1981-2000. Millennials are a very important demographic in terms of television consumption. “The way that we view and interact with TV will change because of these Millennials”. (Thibeault 2014) Millennials represent the largest demographic in the United States and currently account for $1.3 trillion in consumer spending.
Qualitative Research can be exploratory in nature and provide a detailed description why Millennials prefer streaming television over traditional television. These insights will assist certain clients (traditional networks) in determining if developing a streaming platform is a suitable action. Traditional networks face challenges because there still is an audience in terms of traditional TV but may continue to shrink. Networks need to understand how the type of content integrated in the streaming service appeals to Millennials. Furthermore, traditional networks will understand if developing streaming aligns with its business strategy and if producing this platform can be beneficial to its goals.
Why Qualitative Research?
There is data that currently suggests Millennials are shifting towards streaming television. Data might suggest some reasons of why the shift has occurred. Two reasons are the advancement of the internet and mobile devices. “Roughly 93% of Millennials used a mobile phone in 2012 and among that about 63% used smart phones. Millennials also have the highest penetration of Internet usage, with 93% of Millennials using the internet”. (Thibeault 2014) This data could suggest a relationship to the shift towards streaming but does not indicate a clear or detailed explanation.
This is where qualitative research can help provide a detailed description in addressing this research topic. Qualitative will help the researcher and client gain a deeper understanding of why consumers are shifting towards streaming television. This type of research generates data about human interaction in certain settings. Through viewing and questioning the participants, the researcher is able to generate deeper insights on why participants choose streaming television over traditional television. Certain home environmental factors or internal behavior could be dictating these daily viewing habits. There are so many underlying factors that could affect an individual’s preference, but qualitative research is the most suitable option in terms of developing a detailed explanation related to the viewing habits of Millennials.
In conclusion, the goal through all of this is to enable traditional networks to develop a deeper understanding into why consumers are moving towards streaming television. Millennials will continue to play a large role in the shaping of the television landscape. Networks will need to understand if developing streaming platforms are a viable option or not.
Thibeault, J. (2014, March 19). In the Limelight. Retrieved from http://blog.limelight.com/2014/03/how-millennials-will-shape-the-future-of-tv/
PPA 696 RESEARCH METHODS DATA COLLECTION STRATEGIES II: QUALITATIVE RESEARCH. Retrieved from http://web.csulb.edu/~msaintg/ppa696/696quali.htm
Understanding the Millennial ‘Subculture’ | Millennial Marketing. Retrieved from http://www.millennialmarketing.com/2010/03/understanding-the-millennial-subculture/
Bradshaw, J. (2015, April 17). Streaming wars: How disruptors are shaking up the TV business. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/streaming-trouble-the-traditional-and-digital-tv-worlds-clash/article24015722/