In what will likely be a surprise to just about all onlookers, data.ai’s latest “State of Media and Entertainment” report indicates that ad-supported services Redbox and Plex are the most popular streaming video mobile apps amongst millennials — as defined in the report as anyone age 25-44 — in the United States, as well as in Canada, the U.K., and Australia.
The apps also appear in the top 10 for the older Gen X and Baby Boomers (essentially anyone 45 and older) age group but do not for the younger Gen Z streamers. In addition to Redbox and Plex, a third ad-supported service tops the list for millennials as NBCU’s free, ad-supported video service Vudu comes in third. This information could indicate that the age group is much more likely to focus on the economics of streaming than their older and younger counterparts, which would lead them to embrace the most budget-friendly viewing options.
data.ai’s App IQ report only measures data from apps used on Apple and Android mobile devices, but it is still surprising to not see any of the major streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, or Hulu in the Millennials’ top five. Amazon Prime Video (7th) and discovery+ (8th) do make the top 10, but even those would not be the apps that I would have guessed.
This stands in stark contrast to the apps used most by Gen Z which saw anime streamers Crunchyroll and Funimation top the list, followed by The CW’s app, Disney+, and Netflix. With the youth-focused content on all of these platforms, it should be no surprise that users 24 and younger are using these apps more than viewers in older demographics.
On the other end of the age spectrum, Gen X and Baby Boomers (essentially anyone 45 and older) favor TV Guide as well as the official apps of content providers like DIRECTV, Pluto, and Xfinity. This is less of a surprise as older users tend to prefer to watch shows and movies on TV. So while they might be checking out the latest releases on Netflix and Hulu, they are likely doing it from a connected TV, they are likely using mobile devices to check for the latest schedules and updates.