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TV Is Still A (Big) Thing Among Young Europeans

These three charts reveal how TV sets still have an important role in the lives of Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe…


  • Watching content on a TV set is still an important pastime among young Europeans, who spend 10 hours on average per week watching their television
  • More than three-quarters of Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe own a television
  • It’s also the type of device they use the most to watch video content, even more than their phones

Data from YPulse’s WE TV and Entertainment Report shows that European Gen Z and Millennials spend an average of 10 hours per week watching content on their TVs. Despite the multiplication of tech devices in recent years, from tablets to VR headsets to smartwatches, young Europeans are still using television a lot. Knowing exactly how European 13-39-year-olds use their TVs is important for brands wanting to reach this demographic, especially for advertising purposes. Before digging more into the way young Europeans are using television, let’s first find out how many of them own a TV set:

Most young Europeans still own a TV set

When asked what type of tech device young Europeans own, it’s no surprise to learn that almost all of them say they own a smartphone (88%). But what is more surprising is the fact that three-quarters of Gen Z and Millennials own a television, making it the second top type of tech device they own. This is quite an achievement, especially considering the fact that these gens have a great number of tech devices in their households, with data from YPulse’s WE Tech Device Usage Report showing that European Gen Z and Millennials own an average of nine tech devices.

While many young consumers in Western Europe haven’t ditched their old TV sets, the story is looking quite different in North America, where only three in five young consumers say they own a television (59%). This is due to the fact that young consumers in Western Europe are still watching TV shows the old-fashion way a lot more than their peers across the Atlantic. Data from YPulse’s WE TV and Entertainment Report shows that three in five young Europeans say they watch TV shows via cable / satellite / fiber weekly or more (63%), compared to 46% in North America.  But it’s important to understand that “TV” doesn’t mean ”cable,” and we are talking here about a type of device, not a type of content. In the same survey, YPulse asked young consumers what device they like to watch TV series or video content the most, and their top answer was “Streaming service on a TV screen.” Meaning the reason young Europeans still cling to their TV set is mostly due to the success of streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. In fact, data from YPulse’s WE Media Consumption report shows that Netflix is where young Europeans turn to for entertainment the most, as well as being one of their top video brands.

But the fact that three-quarters of young Europeans own a television doesn’t tell the whole story. After all, young consumers in Western Europe could just report having a television in their homes, but not actually use it. So in order to find out if young Europeans are actually watching television, we need to turn to another data point from YPulse’s WE Media Consumption Report—what type of tech devices they use to watch video content:

European Gen Z and Millennials are using TV to watch video content a lot, even more than they do on their phones

YPulse’s data from WE Media Consumption Report shows that 63% of young Europeans say they watch video content on television, making it the top type of device these gens use when they watch videos. In our WE TV and Entertainment Report, we asked young consumers if they would rather watch TV shows on a smartphone and on a TV screen, and three in five chose the TV screen over the phone, confirming that these consumers love their big screens. This could help explain why YouTube decided to expand the capacity of YouTube Shorts—its short-video content platform—to television, with the TV screen being described as the “fastest-growing surface” of the company. TikTok also made this move a year earlier with TikTok TV.

It should be noted that there is a generational divide when it comes to watching TV, however. European Millennials are +20points more likely to be using this type of device than Gen Z (57% vs 37%). But the passion that European Millennials have for their TV set is being transmitted to Gen Alpha: in our recent Gen Alpha Spotlight Trend Report, YPulse found that the majority of Millennial parents (55%) say their kids are using television to watch video content weekly, even more than tablets and smartphones. But this finding is unique to Western Europe, and our data shows a different trend in North America, where smartphones have taken over TV as the top source of video entertainment for the children of Millennial parents.

Television is the second most important tech device in young Europeans’ lives after their smartphone 

Here again, it’s no surprise that when asked which tech device is the most important in their lives, young Europeans’ top answer is “smartphone”. Gen Z and Millennials are tethered to their smartphones, with YPulse’s research showing that nine in ten young Europeans are using their phones multiple times a day. But it should be noted that after their phone, the second type of device they can’t live without is their television, a type of device that is even more popular than the laptop by +11points. Young Europeans simply love their television sets, which allow them to watch cable, their favorite Netflix shows, as well as endless short videos thanks to TikTok TV.