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Millennials are abandoning their TV sets faster than ever

February 18, 2015, 2:25 PM UTC
Netflix Launch
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: An Apple Ipad is used to view Netflix during the Netflix UK launch in London, England on January 9, 2012. Netflix the leading global internet subscription service for films and TV programmes, launches today in the United Kingdom and Ireland, offering instant and unlimited access to a broad range of entertainment for the low monthly price of ?5.99 in the UK and ?6.99 in Ireland. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Netflix)
Photograph by Gareth Cattermole — Getty Images

Young people are ditching their television sets even faster than in previous years, according to new data, with traditional TV usage falling among viewers age 18-34 falling at twice the normal rate in the recent September to January season.

A new Nielsen survey shows that traditional TV usage among millennial viewers tumbled 10.6% between September and January, The New York Post reports. Since 2012, traditional TV usage had only been falling at about 4% a year from season to season.

The sudden acceleration of young people dropping TV in favor of Netflix (NFLX) surprised many analysts. “The change in behavior is stunning. The use of streaming and smartphones just year-on-year is double-digit increases,” Alan Wurtzel, NBCUniversal’s audience research chief, told the Post. “I’ve never seen that kind of change in behavior.”

In 2011, 21.7 million young adults were tuning in to their TV sets, but that figure fell to 17.8 million last month, a drop of almost 20%. That trend is likely to continue as more millennials turn to online video streaming from Netflix, Amazon Prime (AMZN), HBO GO and other sources.

[New York Post]