Hollywood can’t seem to keep younger consumers interested in going to see movies outside the comfort of their homes. Nielsen found movie attendance among Americans aged 12-24 (dubbed “digitals” by the report) decreased 15% over 2013’s stats.
As per Variety, Nielsen’s report states consumers in this demographic saw an average 7.1 movies in cinemas in 2014, down from 8.4 in 2013. This same group reportedly saw around 10.3 movies in theaters back in 2008, so the decline in movie attendance for digitals has happened slowly but steadily. Nielsen also noted Americans of all ages are going to fewer movies this year (an average of 7.3 films) compared to 2013 (7.7 films), with 77% of the population claiming it saw at least one movie in a theater.
These digital consumers are likely turning to streaming options for their entertainment instead of attending the theater. Nielsen found 87% of 12-to-24-year-olds stream movies and TV online, with 36% claiming they streamed more this year than in 2013. And of all the young digitals surveyed, 60% of them say they’ve fit two full-length movies into a single day at some point in the past year.
This hypothesis of digitals opting for streaming over theater attendance is only supported by another Nielsen report. The 2014 Q3 Total Audience Report found digital viewership has risen year-after-year in every single data point it covered for all demographics. Additionally, brand activation agency The Marketing Store and research firm KidSay discovered 93% of kids aged 8-11 name YouTube as their favorite site, with 71% of them accessing content on the online video site at least three times per week.
While some big-name players like Legendary Entertainment and Lionsgate have recently claimed stakes in the online video world, none of these reports’ numbers are particularly encouraging to Hollywood. It could be time for the rest of the silver screen companies to consider swapping their tactics and learn from the wildly successful events and entertainment initiatives young digitals are more than eager to throw their time and money at. Or they could also start putting online video stars into their flicks.