Though older adults are often portrayed as being afraid of technology, today’s baby boomers are breaking through the stereotype. While the 55+ set may not be the targeted demographic for cutting edge devices, a 2008 TV Land study indicates that baby boomers are an underserved market when it comes to advances in entertainment technology.
According to TV Land’s Joy of Tech study, baby boomers follow the “four Cs” of shopping for entertainment technology: control, choice, clarity, and community. They want control over when and how they can watch TV and movies, services that bring more content choice for their money, audio and visual clarity, and technologies that allow them to stay in touch with their community of family and friends. And, unlike many younger tech-lovers, baby boomers can afford the technology that will meet their demands.
While older generations may be uncomfortable with newer technology, and younger generations take it for granted, baby boomers are a generation that can truly appreciate the continuing advances in entertainment technologies. They grew up watching TV and dreaming of a future with flying cars and robot housekeepers. They also remember when living far from family meant letter writing and expensive long-distance phone calls, which makes email and video chatting all the more appealing.
There are many forms of entertainment technology that appeal to baby boomers. TiVo or DVR devices are among the most popular with older adults. These devices meet consumer needs for both control and choice. With TiVo or DVR devices, baby boomers are free to watch the TV shows they want, when they want. Like younger generations, baby boomers appreciate the ability to record a TV program and watch it at a more convenient time. Home theater systems with HDTV and high-quality audio are also popular among baby boomers.
According to the Joy of Tech study, more than half of the baby boomers indicated that high-quality viewing and listening is a very important aspect of entertainment technology. These savvy consumers understand that HD is the new direction of TV and appreciate the clarity of its crisp, clear visuals. TV Land’s study also showed that baby boomers are much more interested in online TV than many people might expect. High-speed Internet access is a popular feature of active adult communities, and more than half of the boomers in the study reported having high-speed Internet access at home. While one-quarter of baby boomers in the study use the Internet to watch full-length TV shows or movies, over 80% watch online movie trailers, sports, news, and TV clips.
Despite some stereotypes, baby boomers embrace entertainment technology. They enjoy enhanced in-home TV and movie viewing, online TV, and communicating via email and video chatting. Many boomers see their home theater systems as a more comfortable alternative to going to the movies, and as social hubs for gatherings with family and friends. baby boomers are the original TV generation and they are keeping an eye toward the continuing advances in entertainment technology.