Examination of the media consumption habits of 55-65 year olds in the US including social media, internet, and traditional media usage, habits and behavior. Across the media and technology landscape, age is becoming less of a divide as internet access and device usage reaches saturation point. There is also some crossover between age groups (and younger generations) in terms of intention, ownership and behavior.
Age and Media Consumption
- Deloitte Insights posited in 2017 that media and entertainment consumption is driven by a broad range of behaviors, not age alone. They see generations as less important than psychographic or attitudinal measures when predicting future media consumption and preferences.
Streaming and Linear TV
- The bulk of this target age group lands in Deloitte’s Linear TV segment (with a median age of 54 years) attitudinally, but their access to technology means there are opportunities to reach them through a combination of connected devices, linear broadcasting, and online platforms.
- Linear households are media traditionalists, making up 24 percent of the media and entertainment market, with a mean age of 59 years, and 53 percent come from the baby boomer generation.
- Linear TV consumers still rely on traditional media services and devices, 75 percent have a pay-tv subscription, 90 percent of content viewing happens on flat-panel TVs. Live broadcast TV accounts for more than 90 percent of their weekly video consumption.
- Nearly 40 percent watch four or more hours of live news per week and free streaming services account for more than half of their streaming time.
- According to Nielsen’s Local Watch Report, a majority of US adults (56%) streamed non-linear content to their TV in May 2019, but the degree of engagement differs by age group.
- Older adults are more likely to be live in an over-the-air or traditional cable world, and they have a higher exposure to linear broadcast content.
- Monthly reach for streaming video is 42% of adults aged 55-plus. They streamed TV at least 10 times, and for nearly 2 hours.
- The average age of a TV streamer is 50, and non-streamers are, on average, 62 years of age.
- Hartie Chang, manager of product marketing for Adobe Advertising Cloud, said “[Baby Boomers] are one of the few generations left who have experienced what life was like before the internet, laptops, smartphones—let alone digital ads. Television was the medium they consumed the majority of their life, so marketers need a mixture of both traditional TV and digital channels to maximize impact.”
- Around half (48%) of those ages 65 and older say it would be very hard to give up their TV.
- 25% of boomers cut the cord in 2017, and 57% only keep their pay-TV because it’s part of an internet bundle
- 50-64 year olds spend 41 minutes a week, 181 minutes a month, watching traditional TV.
- Of the 72% of U.S. adults that use at least one social media site, 65% are men, and 69% are aged 50-64 years.
- Engaging in social media is one of the most common uses of a tech device (e.g., computer, tablet, or smartphone) for adults aged 50 and over.
- 33% of Boomers agree that companies should use social networks to interact with consumers but 25 percent think brands should be boycotted for posting advertising alongside bad or offensive online material.
- Facebook is popular among all demographic groups, though slightly less with men — only 63% of men use Facebook, and 39% of men get their news from Facebook.
- In the 50 to 64 year old demographic, 23% use Instagram.
- According to Pew Research, more women than men use Instagram: 43% of female respondents, and 31% of men. Facebook use is common across a range of age groups, with 68% of those ages 50 to 64 and nearly half of those 65 and older saying they use the site.
- By generation, radio reaches 41.2 million monthly listeners (ages 55-64), representing 98% of the Baby Boomer population.
Internet and Digital Media
- Most Americans aged 50 and older believe they’re digitally savvy; 62% of respondents ages 50 and older (66% of those ages 50-64) are either “moderate” or “digitally savvy.” About 4 in 10 online adults ages 50 and older disagree.
- Two-thirds of the 65+ population now use the internet.
- Men 60 and older are more likely to be working than their female counterparts (33% vs. 24%) and, among those who work, they tend to work more hours.
- Among adults 60 and over, men spend 48 more minutes a day working than women, yet they also spend 42 more minutes on leisure time. More than half of their daily leisure time, (4 hours and 16 minutes), takes place in front of screens, mostly watching TV or videos.
- About four-in-ten women and roughly a quarter of Americans ages 65 and older say they sometimes play video games. 27% of men ages 50 and older, compared with 30% of women say they play.
- Among 50 to 64-year-olds, 79% get news on mobile.
- According to Deloitte’s Digital Media Trends Survey, people over 52 years old are the least likely to have music streaming subscriptions. 20% of baby boomers currently have a music service subscription.
- Only 25 percent of boomers own a smart speaker, but they tend to value it more. 36 percent rated “playing music” among the top two most-valued skills.
Age and Gender
Based on prior Wonder research, JD Power data, 56% of mid-size SUV buyers were men in 2020. For some models — including a mid-size premium Cadillac SUV — 48% were bought by women. We had made assumptions based on these findings that the SUV segment skews older and male but media consumption research covering this demographic profile wasn’t readily available. This research is a qualitative yet illustrative profile of older Americans, those most likely to make or consider a luxury SUV purchase.
Adults aged 55-65 years fall within the proper parameters of a “baby boomer,” but this would also include people up to 73 years old. Depending on the quantitative methodology, “older adult” media consumption and usage data can fall into generational, 5-10 year age breaks, total household, or a broad range such as “50-plus”. The terms “seniors,” “older Americans,” and “older adults” are used interchangeably. Initial searches for psychographic profiles (media consumption, social media usage, etc.) for men aged 55-65 years did not reveal an accurate result.
Pre-compiled research and reports from reputable organizations, including Pew, Deloitte, Nielsen, and others, do cover age and gender/sex. However, even with a wide range of generational definitions and age groupings, we could not locate media usage data split by gender and age. Due to small sample sizes, it’s an either/or situation. The AARP report, for example, has a specific age focus, with respondents evenly spread across 10-year age breaks and weighted for age and gender.
Media usage data (especially for broadcast TV) is weighted by household and standard demographic breaks (e.g., 18–45). Nielsen’s radio audience surveys do include gender within a set age range (but not, however, one that is old enough). For gender and age on social media platforms, user data is captured via registration information provided — some of this is optional (particularly gender, date of birth, and age) due to privacy considerations. Syndicated survey data from GfK MRI, ComScore, Nielsen Scarborough via a media agency, or research license would provide more accuracy.
Further investigation of premise from early findings. Examination of the media consumption habits of 55-65 year olds in the US including social media, internet, and traditional media usage, habits and…
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