Nielsen Study: Younger Consumers Going to the Movies Less

Movie Theater Interior - H 2012
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Movie Theater Interior - H 2012

Hollywood is having a harder and harder time reaching this elusive demo

A new Nielsen survey confirms what Hollywood studio executives and theater owners know all too well: Younger consumers are making fewer trips to the cinema.

Nielsen stated in a report released Thursday that "digitals," or those between the ages of 12 and 24, saw an average of 7.1 movies in 2014, compared to 8.4 movies in 2013. Those stats mirror what the Motion Pictures Association of America reported earlier this year in its annual 2013 theatrical report.

Those between the ages of 25 and 44 went to more movies than any age group, or 8.1 times, up from 7.7 in 2013. There was a decline in the 45 to 74 age group, who went to the movies 6.7 times in 2013, down from 7.2 times last year.

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In terms of how they consume entertainment, 36 percent of the digitals surveyed by Nielsen say they streamed more content this year than they did in 2013, while 87 percent overall streamed movies or television shows. And 60 percent said they've streamed at least two feature-length films in a single day.

Movie marketers are sure to note this finding: Nearly three-fourths of digitals share their opinions about a movie on social media. And they trust trailers and the opinions of friends more than television commercials.

"For marketers looking to connect with these young, digitally savvy moviegoers, it's key to use online sources to build urgency to see the movie at a theater," said Kathy Benjamin, senior vp client solutions at Nielsen Content. "Social is especially important because for digitals, seeing a movie is a means to a 'social.' They may not know what kind of movies they want from Hollywood, but there's one thing they definitely don't want: to be left out of the conversation.

More than 4,100 people were surveyed for the study, which was conducted in September.