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Game On: Video Games are a Staple Among Millennials’ Media Diets

3 minute read | June 2019

Much has been written about how Millennials are finding their footing in the workforce, starting families and growing their economic prowess. But that doesn’t mean they’re all business. In fact, Millennials were the first generation to grow up with widespread access to video games, and they’re just as active gamers as they were when they were growing up—if not more so.

How important are video games to Millennials? According to our latest Millennials on Millennials report, which focuses on video game consumption among this demographic, two in three Millennials in the U.S. play video games every month.

Importantly, Millennials aren’t just interested in playing video games. They also like watching others play. According to the new report, 71% of Millennial gamers watch gaming video content, or online videos about games, on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Given the similarities with other types of video content, popular gaming video content creators typically follow a regular schedule when broadcasting or uploading videos. In order to maintain a steady level of viewers, creators must be attentive to their audiences and provide new content frequently. Gaming video content viewers directly support creators in two primary ways:

  • Subscriptions: Creators receive subscription fees once a month through the platform that the gaming video content creators stream or upload to.
  • Donations: Creators also receive one-time payments of any value.

Just how much time do Millennials spend watching gaming video content? On average, they watch for nearly six hours each week. To put this viewing into perspective, our most recent Total Audience report highlights that the average U.S. adult watches three hours and 44 minutes of live scheduled television per day. So Millennial video game content viewing is on par with just under two day’s worth of live, scheduled TV viewing.

From a monetary perspective, this highly-engaged audience is very active in supporting video game creators. In fact, Millennials spend more on donations than they do on subscriptions: an average of $29 each month vs. $25. These two types of payments have accounted for 30% of gaming video content revenue in 2019 so far.  

Gaming isn’t an activity Millennials are about to grow out of anytime soon. They are set to be the first generation of lifelong gamers, and media firms and marketers need to take note. By adding games to their media mix, advertisers can reach Millennials where they spend a significant part of their leisure time and money.

For additional insights, download the full report.


The Millennials on Millennials series of reports provides an in-depth look at the media habits of Millennials by Nielsen Millennials.  Leveraging a wide variety of Nielsen data sets, the report analyzes topics not only relevant to Millennials but ultimately the wider media landscape including advertising, social media, communication, entertainment spending, technology and more.

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