The aging of the TV Broadcast audience

Interesting article.

As a Boomer, I’m not particularly surprised to find out that we are, once again, warping the market. :smiley: One thing not addressed in the article that I’d be curious about – are older viewers less apt to have cable, and thus not in a position to watch anything but broadcast TV?

I don’t think it’s lack of cable as much as it is a desire to stay with the familiar. My generation, Generation X, was the first to essentially grow up with cable, so having lots of choices is the norm for us. Boomers, OTOH, grew up with three or four networks and no other options besides going to the movies.

I also think the standards and practices involved in over-the-air TV appeals to a more conservative audience. Most broadcast TV is pretty tame because broadcasters have to comply with FCC regulations about language and the like, which cable channels don’t. Cable channels also have the luxury of being able to appeal to narrower demographic groups; Spike can show what it does because it knows the vast majority of its audience consists of young adult males.

If I get time later, and if I remember, I’ll look for some statistics about cable viewership and age.

Wilford Brimley is probably licking his chops at the advertising gigs he’s sure to get due to this.

I’d expect older people to watch more TV due to spending less time on websites and video games.

From the article: “Don’t discount people who are in their 50s and 60s. They buy iPads,” Wurtzel said. “They’re online. The reality is these are the people who have the money.”

Advertisers seem to follow the old adage that people in their 50s and 60s (and even 70s and 80s) don’t buy new products because they’re set in their ways and so poor that they need senior discounts.

I’ve read about another theory which suggests that people who work in advertising generally are in the 20 to 40 age range, and they tend to advertise to themselves.

Overly simplistic, I’m sure, but are there glimmers of truth in there?

Weird…I was just thinking the other day about how when I was a kid in the 80s and 90s there was a lot of “sit the family around the television” type shows. The entire “TGIF” thing, Alf, Growing Pains, Small Wonder, etc. Not to mention prime time action shows for kids like the Dukes of Hazard, the A-Team and Knight Rider.

Today it doesn’t seem like any broadcast shows are meant for families with kids. The NBC Thursday night stuff maybe, but perhaps only for smart teens. Two and a Half Men has a kid in its cast but it’s way too sexual for my tastes. So was Raymond and Seinfeld.

Do parents and kids watch broadcast TV together anymore? I suspect they watch American Idol together, but is there anything else?

I work in advertising, sorta (marketing and promotion) and the younger people I work with drive me crazy. They name these people we’re promoting to “Frank and Elizabeth” and “Edith.” Christ. I am almost 50; do I look like some fogey with my foot in the grave? Does my (Boomer) husband — whom they know — fumble with email and say iWhut? Dismissively, they tell me he works in IT and therefore is not the norm. :rolleyes:

Old people spend money but not like young people and this is what people aren’t thinking about.

For example if an old person buys an iPad, so what? Chances are an older person isn’t going to be sold on a commerical. He’ll say "Hmmm, an iPad, then he’ll see if he can budget it, then he’ll go on this message board and get opinions and then he’ll think about it, and then IF he buys it, he’ll put it toward his, “big thing to buy this year” and won’t buy another “big ticket” item this year.

A young person, “Wow an iPad and I have $1,400 on my credit card. I can buy TWO. I can’t wait to show all my friends.”

Off he/she runs to the Apple Store and he/she buys it.

You see the advertising had no real effect on the purchase of that iPad for an older person. If they handn’t like their research or the opinons of others or couldn’t budget it properly they’d have not bought it.

And it’s not a rap on young people. I was like that when I was young, as I’m sure most people were. You LEARN how to buy as you get older. You LEARN how to not fall for advertising campaigns.

This doesn’t help sales. It’s not that old people don’t hav money or even that they don’t spend it. It’s HOW they are spending it.

Up to the age of 40 or so, most people are still acquiring. They move out of the house into the dorm, suddenly they need sheets. Move out of the dorm into an apartment, they need dishes and furniture. Move into a house, more furniture. Then the biggest acquisition binge of all happens – they have a kid.

Once you get past 50, that all slows down. Your kids grow off, go off to college, and start their own acquisition binge. You have all the clothes, dishes, furniture and cars you need, so you slow down to just replacing what you have. Then you decide to sell your house and move to some place smaller, and suddenly you’re divesting instead of acquiring.

OTOH, you gradually get more money for financial planners, cruises, and the latest, greatest cholesterol drugs.

Now, if TV producers would just turn down the damn background noise so I could actually hear the dialogue!

I have noticed this trend since teaching at a college.
In one of my classes, I have a “question of the day” for them to answer.
One question I ask is “What is your favorite TV show?”
More and more, students say, “I never watch television.”
I have had to change the question to “What is/was your favorite TV show?”
Now I am getting answers with TV shows that were canceled 10 or more years ago - in other words, they stopped watching when they were kids. Rarely will anyone give me the name of a show currently on television.

Seriously - they still go to movies, and will watch some shows on the Internet, but as far as sitting down and watching television at night? Nope.
Video games, music and surfing the Internet seem to be the main activities of younger demographics today, at least in my small survey at college.

Just as an academic exercise, I tracked tonight’s entertainment activities of the Doors family. The sprog watched cartoons he recorded to the DVR, and when he doesn’t do that, he watches On Demand programming. In fact, he’s so used to DVR/On Demand programming that he has no concept of a TV schedule because anything he wants to watch is available when he wants to watch it. Airman is watching A Few Good Men on his laptop, and I watched old Dragnet episodes on Hulu. Once the sprog went to bed, the TV went off and it stayed off. (FTR, we’re all under 40.)