Posted in on December 11, 2012

Who Pays for News? 50 Plus Boomers & Seniors

The Pew Research Center’s Project in Excellence in Journalism has released some interesting data regarding news consumption and our favorite cohorts — baby boomers and seniors. ‘Tis the season to be honest, so I’ll cop to a little “we told you so” action happening in the Creating Results offices.

The Facts

Here are the details, as reported by the Nieman Journalism Lab.

* While young ‘uns are often portrayed as news-refuseniks, it seems they they rival their elders as consumers of news — as long as it’s delivered via a mobile device.  37 percent of smartphone owners between the ages of 18 and 29 (Gen Y/Millennials) get news on their devices daily, along with 40 percent of smartphone owners aged 30 to 49 (GenX and younger boomers).

* 31% of baby boomers and 25% of 65 plus seniors report getting news on their mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

* When it comes to PAYING for news, Nieman summarizes,Pew Research chart - people over 50 most likely to pay for print news, or to subscribe to a digital/print combo

“the survey reinforces some things we already know: Older people are more likely to pay for news. According to Pew, people over 50 were almost twice as likely as those under 50 to have a print-only subscription. The 50-plus crowd were also more likely to have a print/digital combo: 20 percent of those surveyed said they have bundled subscriptions, compared to only 12 percent of people under 50.”

Read the article:

The Future

Here’s where we get to crow just a tad. When writing for MEDIA Magazine’s fall issue on the Future of Media, we heralded tablets as the future of Baby Boomer media consumption and anticipated Pew’s findings.

“We predict Baby Boomers will sway influence from TV and magazines to the tablet.  We see:cover - MEDIA Magazine - Future of Media - Fall 2012
>> More long-form content. Whether it’s editorial or paid marketing content, Baby Boomers and seniors have the time and desire to dig  deep;

>> Willingness to pay for subscriptions. This is a generation  that still values and therefore pays for news. The pride they take in their own  accomplishments transfers to the work of others, so they subscribe at higher  rates than younger age groups”

Read the whole article:

The Functional and the Fun

What does this mean for marketers to older adults? It means you should be thinking of ways to deliver relevant content via mobile devices to boomers and seniors. Think of ways to make that content have the comfort of print — but take advantage of digital tricks and tools to make the experience exceptional.

This is true for those in all industries, including travel, caregiving, higher education and more. Coincidentally, all areas where boomer and senior women spend time and money, as illustrated by our latest infographic, “Merry, Mature Mrs. Claus.” Functional and fun!

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