Baby Boomers: how, what, and how much do people over 55 years old consume?A global analysis of this generation, in terms of Pay TV and streaming platforms
The Baby Boomer generation is made up of people who were born between 1945 and 1964. Their name comes from the baby boom that occurred after the end of World War II. As a generation, Baby Boomers experienced black and white television and its transition to color, as well as the expansion of television service from just a few air signals to a huge number of channels offered through various technologies. They also witnessed the birth of the World Wide Web as adults, as well as the smartphone, online video platforms, and many other things. That is why they are considered along with the next generation (Gen X) to be digital migrants, unlike digital natives who are individuals who were already born into a world where internet and digital technologies are readily available in a large percentage of homes.
Naturally, Baby Boomers were consumers of TV, readers of print newspapers, and listeners of AM and FM radio. However, is this type of consumption still prevalent? Are they migrating to digital content? Through online surveys conducted in different regions around the world by various BB Media studies, we can learn what, how, and how much the world’s Baby Boomers consume.
Baby Boomers grew up in front of the television. This device has the highest percentage of usage when it comes to consuming audiovisual content in most of the regions analyzed by BB Media, followed by the PC/notebook, and in third place, the smartphone.
Unlike EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), UCAN (United States and Canada), and Latin America, Baby Boomers in the APAC region (Asia Pacific) show a greater use of smartphones, followed by PCs, and in third place, Smart TVs. At the same time, as shown in the following graph, APAC is the region with the lowest penetration of paid TV.
According to BB Media, the penetration of paid TV among the Baby Boomer generation is about 74% in the UCAN region, 56% in EMEA, 52% in APAC, and 54% in LATAM.
Digital migration is gaining prominence among Baby Boomers who are abandoning their Pay TV service (cord-cutters). According to the survey, these Boomers tend to do so because they have the possibility, among other reasons, to watch the same content they see on Pay TV for free and online.
On the other hand, the opposite is observed in those who do not consume online content. In all the regions studied by BB Media, Boomers who do not watch this type of content consider that what Pay TV offers is sufficient for them; it will be a challenge to capture their attention.
This generation represents the population that has already retired from the working market or is about to do so and, therefore, has more availability to engage in entertainment and leisure activities, including watching TV and video platforms.
In general, Baby Boomers consume around 20 hours per week in audiovisual products, whether watching TV or video platforms, with those in UCAN having the most time available for these activities and those in APAC having the least. When observing the relationship between the time dedicated to each activity, it can be noted that watching TV represents 60% of the time for Boomers in UCAN and LATAM. In APAC, however, SVOD platforms lead the way, occupying 65% of the time dedicated to watching audiovisual products. EMEA, on the other hand, shows a similar dedication to both TV and SVOD content.
Just as they stand out for their preference for using smartphones over televisions, Baby Boomers in APAC also stand out for their binge-watching habits during weekends, with around 41% watching 4 or more episodes. In contrast, the other regions barely surpass 24% when it comes to binge-watching.
Regarding the market of SVOD platforms, the ones that lead the Boomer generation are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and YouTube Premium. The order of these platforms varies by region, with Netflix and Prime Video contending for the top spot, and Disney+ and YouTube Premium taking third and fourth place, as shown in the graph. These platforms not only have the largest share of the Boomer market, but also a high percentage of penetration among them.
However, when Boomers try to remember the series they have watched lately, the titles do not necessarily coincide with the market share of these platforms. This is not the case for Netflix, which, while demonstrating a higher percentage in the market, also manages to have its titles (original or not) remembered by this generation. Perhaps this happens because when choosing the type of content, Boomers from all regions prefer to choose movies and, secondly, series; documentaries and news come in third place. The most watched genres vary by region: Boomers in EMEA and LATAM are characterized by their consumption of Crime and Action, while those in APAC and UCAN prefer Drama and Comedy.
Market studies that address the consumption of Baby Boomers in all areas classify them as an economically established generation that does not skimp on expenses when they want to satisfy their tastes and needs. Being part of ‘he new’, while still preserving certain elements or values of ‘the old’, is another characteristic highlighted in several studies.
Studying this generation allows us to observe a target to be conquered by new technologies, which have the challenge of capturing the attention of those who remain distant from them. In this case, video platforms still have a large territory to conquer in the generation that is characterized by digital migration. In addition, a large proportion still consumes Pay TV, which also has the challenge of offering attractive and original content that is not offered online and/or for free if it wants to retain its subscribers.
WRITTEN BY: Jimena Municoy (Media Analyst at BB Media)
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