The Surprising Growth Behind Streaming TV: Gen X and Boomers

It might be surprising to some marketers to learn that Americans aged 50 and older (like me) accounted for 39% of streaming watch time since May 2022, an increase from 35% a year earlier, according to Nielsen. That’s the biggest increase in time spent on all streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Roku, Pluto and YouTube.

The adoption of streaming services by viewers aged 50+ — from free, ad-supported (AVOD) to subscription offerings (SVOD) — comes as more Gen X consumers and Baby Boomers part ways with cable services.

And just as important as how they’re watching is that household spending by cohort groups of Generation X and Baby Boomers are the highest of any age group, which also tends to be the period of peak earnings for many adults of that age range. Pretty important information for marketers in just about every industry.

People ages 50 to 64 claimed a larger share of streaming time than those ages 35 to 49 for the first time, according to Nielsen. They appreciate flexibility of being able to watch anywhere on any device.

·     Certain live sports events such as pro baseball games are now airing exclusively on streaming services, rather than cable networks.
·     The growth in streaming among people 50 and over has gone together with easier access to streaming services, including smart TVs and connected set-top boxes.
·     Older viewers favor genres such as comedy, crime, thriller, action and adventure.

If you’re interested in learning more about viewer trends and the power of streaming TV, reach out to us at Brkthru. We’re big proponents of Connected TV and Over-the-Top TV, but we know one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to digital media plans. That’s why we tailor every campaign to reach customers how, when and where they watch.