Give Baby Boomers a little credit: They’re savvier when it comes to technology than many might think.
Contrary to popular perception, Boomers have been quick to adapt to new television technology and are watching online TV and digital videos at a record pace. Last year, according to AARP (an organization that should know!), internet-connected TV watching among 50- to 64-year-olds grew by 45 percent. This year, date gathered by eMarketer, the digital marketing, media and commerce research company, that 51.5 percent of Boomers in the U.S. will have watched digital videos at least once a month.
But just don’t expect them to use a smartphone to do so. Unlike highly mobile-connected millennials and Gen Xers, a 2017 AARP survey found that 52 percent of respondents aged 50 to 59, and 48 percent aged 60 to 69, use desktops or laptops to watch TV and videos. They also spend twice as much time as members of younger generations watching traditional TV.
As with those earlier generations, where Baby Boomers view digital video and streaming movies and shows, and how they watch, is important for marketers and advertisers to know:
- Boomers in increasing numbers are abandoning live TV as their preferred source of content in favor of streaming;
- They’re also nearly as comfortable as members of younger generations in using digital devices for viewing videos;
- Netflix is the streaming platform of choice for Boomers, according to a recent survey from Rotten Tomatoes, the film and television review-aggregation website;
- Forty-seven percent of the supposedly-“Old School” generation who responded to a Netflix survey said they’ve downloaded shows to watch later, extending the shelf life of shows;
- The enormous variety of digital content and ease of streaming platforms are leading Boomers to leave cable TV for online shows, videos and movies.