Survey Reveals Shift in Media Consumption Habits Across Generations

The latest Media Engagement Barometer commissioned by Motorola’s Home & Networks Mobility business has revealed a shift in consumer influence that hasn’t been widely recognized yet:

Age no longer dictates a consumer’s willingness or

ability to use media technology or services

In fact, all generations – Millennials (or Generation Y) (75 percent), Gen Xers (74 percent) and Boomers (66 percent) – recognize the role entertainment technologies play in helping them keep their lives in order, which helps explain why Millennials (80 percent), Gen Xers (78 percent) and Boomers (78 percent) are equally likely to desire to be constantly connected. Consumers are interviewed in relation to a new study that reveals a disappearing generational gap in media consumption habits. The purpose of the study was to explore how different generations engage through technology products and services with family, friends and colleagues.

Top Three Takeaways
  • Connectivity is more of a lifestyle issue. The desire to be accessible at all times is seen as a necessity across generations (Millennials 79%, Gen Xers 64%, Boomers 65%).
  • There is a two-way dialogue between consumers of all ages, as they engage with technology products and share their experiences. The majority of Americans report influencing the decisions of their children (75%), friends (74%), colleagues (67%), and parents (58%).
  • Parents, grandparents and children alike are actively engaged in the tech sphere of influence. Gen X and Boomer parents reveal that they are influencing their children’s tech habits (87% Gen Xers and 79% Boomers) even more than their Gen X (62%) and Millennial (76%) children influence their habits.
Connectivity is a Necessity
  • Millennials (80%), Gen Xers (78%), and Boomers (78%) are equally likely to be constantly connected.
  • Seven in ten Americans (70%) feel it’s “important for me to always be accessible” and nearly eight in ten (78%) feel they are constantly connected with family, friends, and colleagues, regardless of physical location.
Demand for Content, Anytime Anywhere
  • In spite of their everyday use of technology, 70% of those surveyed are still excited by the ability to live a connected lifestyle and, regardless of where they are, have become reliant on the ability to access and share content including video images anytime, anywhere.
  • 66% of Americans expect to be able to access the same content no matter where they are.
Universal Need for Customization
  • A strong majority of Millennials are interested in personalizing their television viewing experience: 71% are interested in customizable applications for their televisions (vs. 56% Gen Xers, 46% Boomers).
  • The majority of Americans (57%) have received a customized recommendation from a program based on their individual tastes and roughly half of those have received a customized suggestion (44%) and they have acted on it.
Sphere of Influence – Now it’s about “My Community,” not “My Generation”
  • Roughly four out of ten Boomers and Gen Xers are reaching out to their colleagues (43% Boomers, 45% Gen Xers) and significant others (43% Boomers, 43% Gen Xers) for advice.
  • Men are more likely than women to be influenced by their friends (60% vs. 51% women) and colleagues (44% vs.
    30%). Women say they receive it from their significant other (48% vs. 34% men).

Contrary to the image of Generation Y as the “Net Generation,” internet users in their 20s do not dominate every aspect of online life, as found out as well by another study published by Pew Internet & American Life Project earlier this year. Generation X is the most likely group to bank, shop, and look for health information online. Boomers are just as likely as Generation Y to make travel reservations online. And even Silent Generation internet users are competitive when it comes to email (although teens might point out that this is proof that email is for old people).

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