Study: Live TV Viewers Getting Older
MAGNA Global Worldwide: Average live median age for viewers of the five networks hit 50 for the first time.
By B&C Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/27/2008 6:16:00 AM
As if the broadcast networks haven’t had enough bad news this year, a new report from MAGNA Global Worldwide said the average live median age for viewers of the five networks hit 50 for the first time.
That number put the median age above the 18-49 demographic that advertisers typically seek in primetime. However, when live-plus-seven-day viewing data are taken into account, the media drops to 49.
MAGNA said, “Not long ago, CBS was by far the oldest network, with a median age above 50. But ABC and NBC have gradually gotten older and are approaching 50 themselves.”
For live viewing, the report put CBS at 54, ABC at 50, NBC at 49, Fox at 44 and The CW at 34, although it noted that the latter network “is struggling to manage even a 3 household share with its new programming.”
For live plus seven, CBS is 53, ABC 49, NBC 48, Fox 43 and The CW 34.
Univision has a median age of 34 for both live and live plus seven, according to MAGNA.
What are your residents doing about the transition to digital TV -- or do all of them have cable? If so, wouldn't it be more economical for residents as well as for the facility to install a master over-the-air antenna so residents can enjoy FREE HDTV via broadcast TV stations? The analog signal requirement for cable expires three years from the switchover date, so you'll have to do something by then for residents with older analog sets.
Adam Smith - 7/1/2008 11:12:00 PM EDT
So how come there's still no 21st century version of "The Ed Sullivan" Show" on Sunday nights? Live variety, updated with a with-it host like Will Ferrell or even Billy Crystal, would score big numbers among the older demo as well as among the younger "Idol"- type viewers.
Live rock acts, comedians, stage show musical excerpts, ventriloquists, plate spinners, dancing bears, the whole shtick -- you know it would work. CBS, go with the franchise that owned Sunday nights 'way back when... a natural lead-out from "60 Minutes". And if the broadcast nets won't do it, how about HBO or Showtime?
Adam Smith - 7/1/2008 11:05:00 PM EDT
One final thought -- isn't it a shame that B&C perpetuated the media stereotype by using a photo of people with canes and walkers, clearly on the upper end of the 50+ community, to support the on-line article? Anyone want to bet the age of the person who selected the photo?
Marc Robertz - 7/1/2008 9:48:00 AM EDT
Kay is dead-on. The 50+ segment of the US population is the largest, wealthiest, most educated and living longer. In fact, the 50+ demos really should be considered in terms of decades rather than 50+, recognizing that the touch points for a 50+ audience is much different than for a 60+, 70+ and 80+. There is a significant disconnect in that a majority of media buyers and marketing professionals are not only too young to relate to this audience, but have been taught for so long to focus on the 18-49, 25-54 that they do not even consider this audience. Those who are trying to create content for this community â€“ regardless of the medium -- continue to get resistance from the advertisers needed to support the efforts. The stereotypes of this remarkable generation have also been shattered â€“ they DO alter their buying habits, they do adapt to change, they do embrace technology. Most importantly, they are one of the strongest word-of-mouth audiences in history. Ever hear, â€œThereâ€™s nothing warmer than a grandparentâ€™s embrace?â€ The same holds true for marketing. Win their respect, win their hearts, win their loyalty. The last â€œproblemâ€ Iâ€™ll suggest is that the 50+ community is too savvy to be pandered to. They feel and act much younger than their numeric age would suggest is if you misunderstand this audience, or try to create content or advertising based on stereotypes, youâ€™ll not only miss the target, but they will pick the target up and take it with them. And good luck trying to find it again â€“ their consumer memories are a lot better than â€œold folkâ€ punch lines would suggest.
Marc Robertz - 7/1/2008 9:44:00 AM EDT
So what's the big problem with this? Advertisers are finally going to have to get their heads out of the sand in terms of who actually has the buying power in the US? The 50-ish crowd has worked hard, saved a boatload of money, and many of us have second homes in addition to lots of toys. The kids...well, they work for 7 bucks an hour at the local pizza joint. What can they buy? It's time the networks started programming for the real folks out here!
Kay Pillips - 6/28/2008 11:03:00 AM EDT
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