By Fox Van Allen, Techlicious

Ever wonder why your kids watch so much streaming video on YouTube and other services? It could be the boost to their self-esteem. According to marketing research firm Defy Media’s annual The Acumen Report: Constant Content, the majority of those aged 13 to 24 say that online video is both “easy to relate to” and “makes me feel good about myself” – something they say traditional scheduled TV doesn’t deliver.

The study, a two-week online forum that tracked the habits and opinions of 36 Millennials from different geographic areas and backgrounds, reveals that 96% of those surveyed watched online video (at an average of 11.3 hours per week); just 81% reported watching scheduled TV (averaging just 8.3 hours per week). Kids praised online video for being more likely to have what they want to watch, for offering the freedom to watch on their own schedule and for having ads that they can easily ignore. The group said that scheduled TV, meanwhile, has too many ads.

Interestingly enough, while the study shows that while kids look up to popular TV and movie stars similar to how previous generations have, today’s youth seem to trust and feel closer to so-called YouTube celebrities. “You know … what they’ve been through,” said 18-year-old Maggie, one of the participants. “You can be like, I dealt with that a couple years ago, too. I’m not alone.”

As the Millennial generation grows into adulthood, it’s reasonable to expect that its fondness for streaming video on its own schedule with fewer ads will persevere. Advertisers and content providers will need to cater to these habits or risk losing touch with Millennials entirely.

For the full results and text of The Acumen Report: Constant Content, visit defymedia.com.

[Image credit: YouTube]

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