Entertainment

How Gen Z Streams TV Around the World

3 in 5 Gen Zers in India say they use a mobile phone as their primary device to stream

gen z streaming services
Just 4% of Gen Z adults in the United States are not already using a streaming service. The opportunity for services to gain Gen Z subscribers in other markets, however, is huge. (Getty Images / Unsplash / Morning Consult artwork by Kelly Rice)

Global Streaming: By the Numbers

As streaming services look to combat slowing U.S. subscriber growth and churn in an increasingly competitive landscape, many have made major investments in international markets in hopes of keeping the revenue flowing. In Morning Consult’s latest entertainment series, reporter Sarah Shevenock takes a close look at the streaming habits of consumers from around the world, including China, Mexico, India and more.

Other stories in the series: How Much Consumers in Each Country Pay for Streaming | Consumers in Every Country Prefer Streaming With Ads if It Means a Cheaper Bill Weekly vs. Binge Watching: Where the World Stands | Global Streaming Users Say Pricing Options, User-Friendly Interface Are Even More Important Than Content 

Growing up with phones, smart TVs and a buffet of entertainment services to choose from, Gen Zers are a streaming-first generation. And as the entertainment industry tries to decode the fickle cohort, new data from Morning Consult indicates that, despite hundreds of millions of dollars in recent investments in international markets, there’s plenty of work still to be done for the industry to expand its young customer bases outside of the United States.

Only 4% of U.S. Gen Zers Don’t Subscribe to a Streaming Service

Gen Z adults in each country were asked how many streaming services they subscribe to

Surveys conducted March 3-8, 2022, among a representative sample of 217-352 members of Generation Z in China, India, Mexico and the United States, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 6 percentage points.

American Gen Zers lead the way in streaming by significant margin 

  • More than 9 in 10 American Gen Zers (96%) said they subscribe to at least one streaming service, making them more likely to do so than Gen Zers in China, India and Mexico. Chinese Gen Zers were the most likely to say they don’t subscribe to any streaming services, at 44%. 
  • Roughly 2 in 5 American Gen Zers (39%) said they subscribe to three or four services, the most popular option for U.S. respondents and slightly higher than the 32% of U.S. adults overall who said they subscribe to three or four services. One or two services, meanwhile, was the most popular option for Gen Zers in India and Mexico.
Most Gen Zers in India, China Use Phones as Primary Streaming Method

Gen Z adults in each country were asked which of the following devices they primarily use to stream content:

Surveys conducted March 3-8, 2022, among a representative sample of 217-352 members of Generation Z in China, India, Mexico and the United States, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 6 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Gen Zers in China, India embrace mobile viewing

  • More than half of Chinese Gen Zers (54%) and 3 in 5 Indian Gen Zers said they primarily view streaming content via a mobile phone, shares that were roughly in line with overall respondents from those countries. 
  • At 49%, Gen Zers in Mexico were 17 percentage points more likely to watch via phone than adults overall in the country. In the United States, a TV or smart TV was the primary viewing method of the generation, though a mobile phone was second-most popular at 36%. 

The impact 

Gen Zers have a reputation for confounding the older executives in charge of designing content and devices for them. So as streaming services pour more money into international markets, the pressure to establish brand loyalty with consumers early in their adult lives only mounts as well. 

The data indicates there’s still lots of room to grow in the Mexican and Chinese markets for Gen Zers, especially compared to Gen Zers’ streaming habits in the United States and India. There’s no guarantee investment will translate to success, as evidenced by Netflix Inc.’s recent frustrations to make significant inroads in India, where the entertainment behemoth’s content has been received as a mixed bag, according to analysts. The opportunity, however, remains enormous, especially among consumers already attached to their phones.     

Surveys conducted March 3-8, 2022, among a representative sample of 217-352 members of Generation Z in China, India, Mexico and the United States, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.