Older Affluents Remain Drawn to Traditional Media

May 28, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Household Income | Magazines | Newspapers | Radio | Social Media | TV Audiences & Consumption | Video | Youth & Gen X

LuxuryInstitute-Affluents-Media-Habits-by-Generation-May2014Much as with the general population, affluents’ media habits differ by generation, with younger affluents more likely to be found using newer media and older groups spending more time with traditional media. That’s according to a recent report from the Luxury Institute that found affluent Baby Boomers spending almost twice as much time with print and TV than their Millennial counterparts, while lagging in their usage of social media, online radio and online video.

None of those results are particularly surprising, of course, but the results do show some areas in which the gaps are larger than others.

For example, affluent Millennials (aged 18-29) are far more likely than Gen Xers (35-49) and Baby Boomers (defined as ages 50 and up) to be found watching videos online (82%, 65% and 53%, respectively). Similarly, while two-thirds of Millennials listen to online radio, only about 4 in 10 Baby Boomers report doing so, a gap of more than 50%. The discrepancy is a little narrower when it comes to social media, used by 85% of Millennials, 73% of Gen Xers, and 60% of Baby Boomers.

It’s worth noting that while affluent Millennials outpace Boomers in adoption of these newer media, a significant portion of the latter are using them. The 60% of affluent Baby Boomers using social media is a fairly high proportion considering that fewer than half of Americans aged 75 and older even go online. Indeed, the results for the Boomers mask what might be significant discrepancies between the Baby Boomer generation (aged 50-68) and older Americans, commonly known as Silents (69+). For example, a survey released late last year by the Pew Research Center found that 60% of Americans aged 50-64 were using social media, compared to just 43% of Americans aged 65 and older.

Indeed, Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza notes that “older generations are still keeping pace” and that “while averages are important, they don’t tell the entire story.”

Nevertheless, it’s not unexpected that older affluents would spend more time with traditional media than their younger counterparts. According to the survey, affluent Boomers spend about 7 hours per week watching live TV, versus slightly more than 4 hours per week for Millennials. (This is a trend not confined to affluents, as older Americans tend to watch much more TV than youth.)

Looking at their print media habits, the survey found that affluent Boomers devote almost three hours per week to reading newspapers and magazines, compared to 1.6 hours for Gen Xers and 1.1 hours for Millennials. But, that doesn’t mean the younger crowd isn’t using print: 80% of Millennial respondents reported reading newspapers and magazines weekly.

About the Data: The survey was conducted among respondents from households with at least $150,000 in annual income.

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