With the rise of streaming platforms and the vast array of options available, it’s become increasingly important for TV networks and content creators to understand who their audience is.
In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at the different demographics that make up the TV viewing audience, exploring what they watch, and why.
So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!
Age Demographics of TV Show Viewership
- Consumption of TV show streaming is similar for adults between 18 and 44 years old, while adults between 45 and 54 years are less likely to watch or stream TV shows.
- However, younger adults are more likely to watch TV shows via streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. According to a 2021 report by Deloitte, 78% of millennials and 76% of Gen Zers subscribe to at least one streaming service.
- In terms of preferred TV show genres, 90 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 years chose comedy, while 84 percent from the same age group preferred reality TV shows.
- In terms of specific genres, older adults are more likely to watch game shows and news programs, while younger adults are more likely to watch reality shows and dramas.
- In 2021, 46 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 years stated that they watched dramas on TV.
- The same year, 32 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 years stated that they watched reality TV shows on TV.
Gender Demographics of TV Show Viewership
- 56% of women reported watching or streaming TV shows every day, which was 9% higher than men.
- When it comes to streaming services, women are more likely to subscribe to platforms like Netflix and Hulu, while men are more likely to subscribe to sports-centric platforms like ESPN+.
- Women make up the majority of viewers for daytime TV shows, such as talk shows, soap operas, and game shows. This is largely due to the fact that women are more likely to be stay-at-home parents or retirees.
- Men are more likely to watch late-night TV shows, such as talk shows and comedy programs, particularly those hosted by male hosts.
- In terms of cable news viewership, men make up the majority of viewers for channels like Fox News and CNBC, while women make up the majority of viewers for channels like CNN and MSNBC.
- Women are more likely to binge-watch TV shows, with 71% of women reporting that they have binge-watched a show, compared to 60% of men.
Here are the demographic data for TV viewers in the U.S..
- Black people are slightly overrepresented in media, making up 18.1% of screen representations.
- Researchers tracked racial and ethnic diversity across multiple job categories for 461 scripted TV shows on six broadcast networks, 29 cable networks, and 15 streaming platforms.
- Films featuring casts that were 21% to 30% minority had the highest ratings among white, Black, Latino, and Asian households and viewers aged 18-49 on streaming platforms.
- In the US, non-Hispanic White adults make up the majority of TV viewership, but that is changing. According to a 2021 report by Nielsen, the share of TV viewing by non-Hispanic White adults has declined from 77% in 2010 to 57% in 2020, while the share of viewing by people of color has increased.
- African Americans are more likely to watch TV shows that feature Black characters and storylines, and they also over-index in certain genres like drama, crime, and family sitcoms.
- Hispanic/Latino viewers are more likely to watch Spanish-language TV shows and telenovelas, but they also watch a variety of English-language programming.
- Asian Americans are more likely to watch TV shows that feature Asian American characters and storylines, and they also over-index in certain genres like crime dramas and reality shows.
Here are the demographics of Smart TV owners.
Education Level Demographics
According to the Pew Research Center, the preferred platform for accessing news varies by education level. The data indicates that:
- 52% of those with a high school diploma or less prefer watching news on TV
- 29% of those with a college degree prefer the TV for entertainment
- 39% of those with some college education also prefer TV
- Individuals with higher education levels express a greater preference for streaming services as their source of news instead of traditional TV.
The diversity in educational demographics influences various aspects of life, including entertainment preferences such as TV shows. It is essential for TV show creators and marketers to adapt to these evolving demographics to better cater to various audiences.
Popular TV Shows Per Genre
|TV Show Genre||Percentage of Americans Who Watch|
|Reality TV Shows||50%|
|Home Renovation Shows||10%|
Other Interesting Facts About TV Show Viewers
- 61% of people who watch TV frequently say that they will check their email while watching content. Women (64%) are more likely than men (58%) to check their email while watching TV.
- 34% of TV viewers will use another information source to check on the score of a game they’re trying to follow. 44% of men admit to using other information sources to check game scores while watching TV.
- In the United States, 43% of respondents aged 18 to 29 watched CNN as of April 2017. In 2018, 48.14% of respondents aged 18 to 29 years stated they were CNN viewers. CNN demographics show 37% of viewers are aged 30-49. 26% of CNN viewers fall into the 50-64 age bracket. The remaining 17% of CNN viewers are aged 65 and over.
- In the US, the average person watches 3.7 hours of TV per day.
- In 2020, the Super Bowl was the most-watched TV program in the US, with an average of 99.9 million viewers.
- The most-watched TV network in the US is currently CBS, with an average of 6.1 million viewers in the 2020-2021 season.
- The most-watched TV show of all time is the series finale of “MAS*H,” which aired in 1983 and drew in over 105 million viewers.
- In 2021, the most-streamed TV show on Netflix was “Bridgerton,” which was watched by over 82 million households worldwide.
- The average Netflix user streams about 2 hours of content per day.
- In 2020, YouTube was the most-watched video platform in the US, with an average of 41.9 million viewers per day.
- The most-watched TV program in the UK in 2020 was the Christmas Day broadcast of “Call the Midwife,” with an average of 10.2 million viewers.
- The most-watched TV program in Australia in 2020 was the Australian Open Men’s Singles Final, which drew in 2.87 million viewers.
- The most-watched TV program in Canada in 2020 was the Super Bowl, which was watched by an average of 9.5 million viewers.
- The most-watched TV program on HBO in 2020 was “Westworld,” which drew in an average of 1.5 million viewers per episode.
- In the UK, the most-watched drama series in 2020 was “The Crown,” which was watched by an average of 17.8 million viewers per episode.
- In Australia, the most-watched drama series in 2020 was “The Good Doctor,” which was watched by an average of 1.5 million viewers per episode.
- In Canada, the most-watched drama series in 2020 was “Grey’s Anatomy,” which was watched by an average of 1.6 million viewers per episode.
- In the US, the most-watched sitcom in 2020 was “The Big Bang Theory,” which was watched by an average of 18.3 million viewers per episode.
- The most-watched non-English language TV series on Netflix in 2020 was the Spanish-language show “Money Heist,” which was watched by 65 million households worldwide.
- The most-watched TV show on Amazon Prime Video in 2020 was “The Boys,” which was watched by 10 million people in the US
These numbers reveal the diverse ways in which TV viewers engage with content, demonstrating the different habits and preferences among various age groups and genders.