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Study: Video Games, Music, and Podcasts Take Precedence Over Streaming Movies and TV

Lauren Forristal

Interpret’s study, Holistic Entertainment 2021: The Complete Consumer, suggests that consumers, particularly on the younger side, are spending less time streaming TV and movies and have focused the majority of their time playing video games or listening to music and podcasts.

The study finds that the average weekly time spent on entertainment has increased by about five hours in the past three years. However, although TV and movie viewing hours have grown, the increase has been overshadowed by other forms of entertainment.

A Hub Entertainment Research study backs this up with data showing that younger people in 2021 put an average of 110 minutes into their console gaming session. In 2019, the average session for weekly console gamers was only approximately 90 minutes.

Vice President at Interpret, Brett Sappington, said, “Overall, consumers’ time spent on entertainment is becoming more diverse… Movies and TV programming still represent the largest share of entertainment time, but other activities are rapidly encroaching. Young consumers, in particular, see gaming, short-form video, and live streaming as valid, even preferable, alternatives to premium video content. The industry must continue to push the boundaries of entertainment in order to engage with consumers and remain relevant over time.”

Report findings:

  • Broadcast and cable network viewing dropped about one hour per week during the three-year period. However, hours dedicated to streaming services offset this decline.
  • Music, gaming, and podcasts have become a larger focus for consumers. Specifically, mobile gaming, which has increased in the U.S. by two more hours per week in 2021 since 2019.
  • Reading physical media as well as attendance at live events dropped in entertainment share.

Interpret’s syndicated consumer research study examines consumer entertainment habits and spending over time. This study is based on online surveys of 9,000 U.S consumers from 2019 to 2021.

It measures entertainment consumption across different types of media and activities, such as TV and movies, online activities, digital entertainment, physical media, exercise, and outdoor activities, event attendance, social media, among others. The study also looks at the differences in consumption among pay-TV subscribers, OTT subscribers, gamers, as well as age groups like Digital Natives, Millennials, and Boomers.

We are seeing more streaming services cater to the masses as gaming becomes a more popular pastime. Netflix, for example, has focused its efforts on gaming which will potentially open more doors for them in the future. And HBO has followed hot on their heels.

There are even mobile app companies that want to bring a more engaging way to stream. Snax, created by Marmelapp, brings consumers a mixture of film content and interactive gaming.

While streaming services are nowhere near threatened by video games, music, or podcasts, they should start to consider ways in which they can stand out and grab younger viewers’ attention.