In the US, people are spending as much time watching user-created videos as they are TV

·2-min read
According to a CTA study, US consumers spend almost as much time watching user-created video content as they do watching TV.

Could social networks one day replace television? In the United States, a study reveals that consumers watch almost as much television as they do user-created videos on social media. This change in consumption reflects how uses are evolving with the new generation.

Young people in the US aren't fans of television, or at least they seem to prefer social networks. A new study conducted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) analyzed online and TV content consumption trends among nearly 2,000 Americans ages 13 and older. The results reveal that respondents spend 16% of their weekly media time watching user-created videos on social media, compared to 18% of time watching traditional TV.

The proportions are even higher among teenagers aged 13 to 17 years, who spend more than half of their weekly media time (56%) watching content created by users on social networks, compared to 22% among over 55s, according to the study, reported by Variety. A gap that marks the change in usage among younger generations compared to their predecessors. But while media consumption patterns are changing, watching video content on streaming platforms still scores the highest share of media consumption, at 20%. Overall, user-generated content on social networks represents 39% of weekly media consumption hours by US consumers, compared to 61% for traditional media.

The study could prove interesting reading for brands. Indeed, television is no longer the only media to consider when it comes to advertising. Advertising content is becoming more and more prevalent among influencers on social networks. These advertisements are often shot with the creator's signature style and can prove highly successful! The content creator yoleendadong -- with 17.6 million TikTok followers -- scored some 4.5 million views for content sponsored by Amazon , for example. And viral videos can have a real impact on boosting product sales.

The Consumer Technology Association study also found that approximately 20 million US creators monetize their content in some way online, leading to an average revenue of $768 per month for full-time creators.


Weekly Content Consumption, Average % Share of Content Hours

Traditional studio media

Watching video content on subscription-based streaming apps: 20 %

Watching traditional TV content: 18%

Listening to streaming music from popular artists: 15%

Listening to audio content/podcasts from studios/publishers: 7%

User-created content

Watching-user-created video content: 16 %

Watching user-created gaming content: 9 %

Listening to user-created audio content/podcasts: 6 %

Listening to user-created music content: 4%

Playing user-created gameplay content: 4%

*The CTA study is based on an online survey of 2,084 respondents aged 13+ conducted between Oct. 26 and Nov. 9, 2021, by research firm YouGov. The survey covered a nationally representative panel of US consumers who have a cell phone, the trade group says. The margin of sampling error at 95% confidence for aggregate results is +/-3%.

Sabrina Alili

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