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June 15, 2017

The Rapid Rise of Senior Technology Use

HBO has a new documentary called, If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast, which features a positive profile of people in their nineties remaining active and vibrant, led by the legendary comedian Carl Reiner. One of the comments Reiner makes is that, at the age of 95, he sits down to work at his computer every day (and makes the joke that, the first thing he checks is the obituaries, and if he's not listed, he eats breakfast).

It's a refreshing reminder that seniors continue to embrace life, including technology. A new report from Pew Research Center highlights this fact. The use of technology by adults aged 65+ has grown rapidly over the years: two-thirds report using the internet and just over half now have a home broadband connection. The adoption of smartphones, tablets and social media by seniors has also increased greatly, although factors such as age, education and income levels play a big part in how likely they are to adopt these technologies.

Media News In Brief: Items Of Interest You May Have Missed

As we await the results of the 2017-18 upfront, we turn to some items of interest that you may have missed in the past few weeks. Although none of it is earth-shattering, they do nevertheless provide some food for thought.

Who Would The Winners Be, If Cable Went "A La Carte"?
In a recent study by TiVo, respondents were asked which channels they would include in their package, if they were to switch to an "a la carte" service. All the broadcast networks—with the exception of CW—made the top 10 list, as did PBS. TBS and TNT, also made the top 10, and USA Network, FX and AMC made the top 20, again emphasizing the popularity of broad-appeal programming. Niche channels—long emphasized as one of the most attractive aspects of cable—did not fare as well, with only Discovery Channel, History and A&E cracking the top 10. And it's worth noting that over the years, each of these channels has moved away from their original narrow focus to include a variety of programs not necessarily in their original purview (Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel, anyone?). That leaves only the broadest niche channels—an oxymoron if there ever was one—in the top 20: Food Network, Comedy Central, HGTV, ESPN and The Weather Channel. That's certainly not good news for the dozens of other channels out there, that apparently depend on being part of cable packages for their survival.

Good News: Millennials Are Getting Older!
Older people generally watch more TV and—guess what?—Millennials are getting older. As part of a larger body of ongoing research conducted by CBS and reported on by David Poltrack, Poltrack points out that although Millennials have been slower to acquire the accoutrements of adulthood, as they enter their 30s, 40s and even 50s, they will take on the house, car and kids, and apparently start to spend more time in front of the TV, particularly broadcast. Guess NCIS better start scouting some new spin-off cities for their franchise.

TV Still Has The Best ROI…According To TV
In a long line of ROI studies sponsored by a specific medium, once again, the sponsor comes out on top. A recent study by Neustar—backed by Horizon Media and (notably) Turner—finds that TV outperforms print, radio and digital in terms of sales and/or new accounts. And Disney/ABC Television Group, in conjunction with Accenture, examined their multi-platform TV offerings and determined that digital alone—particularly paid search—has oversaturated the market, but that adding (their?) multi-form TV to the mix is a way to improve ROI.

If you're looking for more in-depth reporting on these topics, Media Dynamics, Inc. has just launched MIDAS (Media Insights & Data Service), which features over 40 articles on subjects including ad impact, audience targeting, media planning, demographics and more. Media Matters readers are invited to take $50 off their first MIDAS purchase when they order by 6/22. Use code MIDAS50 at checkout.


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