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The desire to stay up to date on the latest gossip, trends and current events is at the center of social culture, ensuring a stable future for news media. However, today's consumers have diverse options for finding content, and publishers may miss out on valuable opportunities by concentrating marketing resources in the wrong places. To reach the right audiences, media publishers must know how and where consumers of different ages prefer to obtain content.
Consumers aged 55 and over are a profitable and loyal demographic with significant buying power. They make up 66 percent of all people with a primary residence valued at $1 million or more and 43 percent of people who donate to environmental organizations. Baby boomers reached adulthood in the print age with fewer sources of media, making them both highly receptive to news content and the slowest adopters of digital technology.
Although only 17 percent of these consumers use mobile devices to access news content, the 55+ audience is increasingly using desktop computers for online research. They account for approximately 31 percent of all people who look online for information about branded medications, and multiplatform news content effectively reaches about 84 percent of this demographic.
Consumers aged 35 to 54 reached adulthood in the midst of the technology surge, making them comfortable with a wide range of media. Gen-Xers appreciate the convenience of digital and mobile technology, and as parents, they readily pay for content for themselves and their children. In fact, this demographic makes up 62 percent of all people who spent more than $2,500 online in the past six months, 62 percent of people who access 21 to 30 audio streams every day and 41 percent of people who spend 16 to 20 hours a week playing video games.
It's safe to say that Gen-Xers are eager content consumers; but more importantly, this well-rounded group equally distributes time between mobile and desktop platforms. Only 5 percent of Gen-Xers exclusively obtain news content on a desktop, while 20 percent access mobile content, and 75 percent use multiple platforms.
Consumers aged 18 to 34 are true digital natives who reached adulthood in a wireless environment defined by mobile technology. As millennials are schooled at tracking down the media they want, they make up 56 percent of all people without TVs and 51 percent of people who use mobile devices to watch entertainment media at least once a week.
News publishers must remember that millennials are accustomed to having unlimited choices and consuming news content at rapid speed, often accessing media through multiple platforms at the same time. As one of the most socially conscious generations to date, millennials are also drawn to news sources that cover or support their causes. In fact, they make up 31 percent of people who donated over $1,000 to a nonprofit organization.
Diversifying News Content Sources
Millennials are the highest consumers of mobile news content, and many media publishers may be tempted to largely shift their focus to cater to this dominant tech-savvy audience. However, baby boomers still represent a sizeable and monetarily influential portion of the population, making it unwise to focus solely on mobile publishing and marketing over desktop platforms.
Fortunately for publishers, the majority of the population is getting online to seek out information. At least 54 percent of each age demographic prefers to obtain content through multiple platforms, signaling a major shift in how Americans receive news. Coordinating a strong multiplatform strategy is the best way to tap into this digital-oriented audience and target content to the consumers who are most likely to be receptive to it.