The 16-39 year-old TV switch-off

23 July, 2013 by Don Groves

The key 16-39 age group is watching less free-to-air TV but the commercial networks are chiefly to blame for the loss of viewers.

That’s one of the findings of a report by Fusion Strategy entitled “16 – 39 Year olds don’t watch television anymore- fact or faction?””


The research film points out that the FTA broadcasters have not generated one break-out hit for that age group since Glee in 2009.

The two best performers, it says, have been Offspring and Puberty Blues, adding that none of this year’s new shows has resonated strongly with the 16 – 39s.

The report acknowledges the younger population has many other screen choices which have "exploded" on the landscape, including video games, smart phones, tablets, online video and catch up TV.

But it calculates the three major commercial networks have experienced an 18% fall in live viewing by 16-39 audiences from 2005-2012.

“We argue this is purely because there have not been enough younger hit shows particularly on Network 10,“ the report says. “All TV (viewing) has not fallen by as much, so younger viewers are simply becoming more selective with not enough targeted big hit shows.”

It asserts Ten has suffered the biggest slide in viewers in that age group partly due to the success of the Nine Network’s GO! and 7Mate, both targeted at under 40s. In that demo GO! is the No 1 digital channel, ahead of 7Mate and Eleven.