Millennials, the generation of young men and women born between 1981 and 1996, have been widely criticized for being self-absorbed and slow to settle into careers and relationships, among other perceived faults. But one cultural crime they can’t take the rap for, at least not in whole, is the decline of traditional network TV watching.

While a near-glut of new viewing options–connected TV, streaming videos, digital platforms like YouTube–has changed what and how millennials access content, TV happens to be the staple of their video consumption diets, according to a Nielsen report cited on, a tech platform for video ad campaign workflow.

Another study, conducted earlier this year by ThinkNow Research, found that millennial internet users are more likely to watch TV shows on Netflix and Youtube than watch a live show on network TV. Nevertheless, the Nielsen report reveals, traditional TV still accounts for 66 percent of this generation’s total time viewing video and remains an import element of the mix for marketers and advertisers angling to connect with this large and important group.

The catch? Those same marketers and advertisers will have to look beyond television sets to where millennials spend the majority of their time: on social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, as well as YouTube, and from a slew of digital devices As emarketer notes, citing a 2018 Magid survey, on a typical day millennial internet users who put in more than three hours watching video content are more likely to use a computer, connected TV or other devices than not only Baby Boomers but also members of Generation X.

Here are a few key characteristics of this generation’s digital viewing habits to keep in mind when targeting them:

  • Millennials get exposed to videos through friends’ posts on social media, where they spend an exorbitant amount of time;
  • As natives to the digital world, they use every device in existence to access content;
  • The majority of millennials, according to a Salesforce report, watch TV shows or movies on a streaming platform, and tend to binge-watch;
  • Unlike members of older and younger generations, millennials aren’t adverse to advertising but it needs to be compelling and tailored to their interests and needs.