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Having witnessed the tech revolution, Baby Boomers are wiling to embrace and
purchase today's emerging entertainment offerings, according to the findings
in TV Land's Joy of Tech Study. Having grown up alongside television -- watching
man walk on the moon and The Jetsons showcase a tech-filled futuristic lifestyle
-- it stands to reason that the study found that TV entertainment is the key
driver for Boomers adopting new media technologies. 78 million strong and $2.3
trillion in annual spending, outpacing 18-39 year olds by 53%, Baby Boomers
have the numbers, financial means and desire to create their "digital nest"
-- a place where new media technology is employed to create both a personal
escape as well as an entertainment hub for family and friends.
TV Land's Joy of Tech study revealed that when looking to new entertainment
technologies, Boomers consider the "4 C's" or four key factors: control,
choice, clarity and community. They want devices which allow them to control
when they watch their favorite shows, technology to bring them content choices,
the clarity of an audio and visual experience that rivals the theater within
the comfort of home and an experience that creates a community connecting them
with others. The "4 C's" are often the factors by which Boomers determine
their entertainment technology purchases. The generation known for advocating
change, Baby Boomers are uniquely positioned to appreciate and use technology,
separating themselves from older and younger generations. Unlike older generations,
Boomers feel that they are youthful enough to fully embrace and be comfortable
with technology, but not too young to take for granted the positive changes
technology has brought to the world, as younger "tech native" generations
TV Land's Joy of Tech Study, fielded by Latitude Research, was a multiphase
project using qualitative and quantitative techniques. Adults aged 20-60 participated
in the study. The project was commissioned by TV Land, a division of Viacom
Inc.'s MTV Networks (VIAB), to provide information on what motivates Boomers
to use and buy various entertainment technologies. The study is part of TV Land's
overall commitment to understand and superserve the Baby Boom demographic, the
first generation of Americans to grow up watching television.
"The Joy of Tech Study shows us that Boomers are an underserved market
as far as entertainment technology goes," said Larry W. Jones, President,
TV Land. "It's clear that Boomers love technology and embrace new media
products. Considering the fact that Boomers have more money than any other demographic
to spend, I'm sure cable operators, manufacturers and anyone else who owns or
distributes these products will be very interested in this research as they
evaluate their business and marketing plans. If there is one theme we are finding
in all of our research across the board, it's that Boomers should not be overlooked."
"Countering common misperceptions that Boomers are tech-phobic, we found
that Boomers' historical relationship with technology and TV makes them crave
emerging entertainment products and services that enhance their viewing experience,"
adds Tanya Giles, Senior Vice President, Research and Planning, TV Land. "We
know that 65% of Boomers have tried a new technology in the last three years.
The Joy of Tech study shows us that Boomers are flocking to these new devices
to give them control over and enhance their quality of life. This is the generation
that made status symbols out of cars and they are doing the same thing with
new media products using high tech home theater systems and other tech products
to define who they are."
Key findings from the Joy of Tech study show that for many Boomers, understanding
and using technology is a badge of honor. They are young enough to be comfortable
with and embrace technology but not too young to be able to appreciate what
this evolution has brought society. They like to keep up with tech developments
- it's good to be in the know and stay up-to-date
- it's good to keep up with what their kids are involved in
- it's good to seem current to kids
- for many, it's just plain fun
The study found that for Boomers, TV entertainment is the primary driver which
means that entertainment technology choices are shaped by the desire to maximize
this experience. They are looking to improve their entertainment experience
in terms of the 4 C's: control, choice, clarity and community.
Control means to Boomers the convenience of having easy access to get what
you want, when you want. It gives them access to programming they might have
otherwise missed. Boomers feel it gives them a richer, more satisfying TV experience.
They see Tivo/DVRs and VOD as having freed them from "the tyranny of network
programming schedules" by allowing them to time shift. One out of three
Boomers (28%) say "allowing you to control when you have your entertainment"
is the most important factor in their decision to buy entertainment technologies.
Increased content options, and the ability to find exactly what they want is
the freedom of choice and more options that Boomers are looking for. Study participants
identified the vast array of content as the biggest and best change in TV in
their lifetime. Most Boomers feel anything they could want is now available
to them and if they have access to Tivo/DVRs or VOD the choices are multiplied
even further. Over 40% of all Boomers believe that "providing a large variety
of options" is a very important benefit of new technologies.
Clarity is important to Boomers as the quality and vividness of the entertainment
experience (e.g., HDTV and home theaters) is a strong theme in these findings.
Boomers are using and deriving the greatest benefit from technologies that improve
the in-home TV experience. More than half of Boomers (58%) feel that "providing
high quality viewing and listening" is a very important benefit of new
Technology creates a sense of community allowing Boomers to connect with friends
and family, either through content that is watched with others (i.e., bringing
back family hour, socializing with friends) or by keeping them up to date on
content that others are watching and that they may not have seen (i.e., the
watercooler effect). The enhanced technology also brings people back to the
family viewing experience as everyone gathers around the best TV in the house
with access to the most programming. Nearly one in four Boomers believe that
"allowing connection with friends and family" (21%) and "helping
you keep up with entertainment that friends and family enjoy" (25%) are
very important benefits of new technologies.
Another key finding from the study is that Boomers are looking to build a "digital
nest" -- a place in which they can comfortably engage with and experience
entertainment while relaxing in their home. They are creating high tech zones
and entertainment centers that are a social hub for their family and friends.
Boomers' technology decisions and purchases are often based on this desire to
enhance this home entertainment experience. With TV being the most important
entertainment source to Boomers, it follows that Boomers use technology to enhance
their relationship with programming content. They do this in a variety of ways
including seeking out background information on shows online, using devices
to introduce favorite programs to friends and family, interacting both on and
offline with programs and customizing play lists on a variety of tech devices
ranging from DVRs to MP3 players.
The study also found that most Boomers are not deterred by high costs that
are often associated with new technologies. In fact, other TV Land research
showed that Boomers are prepared to spend far more than younger generations
on technologies that enhance their TV viewing experience ($88 per month for
Boomers vs. $64 a month for young adults 18-39). Furthermore, the Joy of Tech
study showed that technology for the sake of technology isn't compelling.
Technology for the sake of convenience, a more vivid viewing experience and
ease of use are the key factors in the decision to purchase and when the criteria
are met, Boomers are willing to pay high costs to acquire these benefits. While
price isn't a barrier, neither is the perception that new technologies are too
Products and services that Boomers gravitate toward as they build their in-home
HDTV -- Boomers are adopting technologies that optimize their entertainment
experience, making them great candidates for HDTV. They value the crisp, clear
image of HD as well as the convenience of a theater experience without movie
theater hassles. Boomers recognize that HD is where TV is headed.
Tivo/DVRs -- Boomers use DVRs for time shifting and access to increased content.
Tivo/DVRs allows them to sample new programming and create a collection of their
own on demand programming, all of which makes TV an overall more satisfying
VOD - Boomers appreciate VOD's increased options, convenience, ease and VCR
functionality, however many still feel there is a lack of programming variety.
VOD also appeals to those who are looking for a more spontaneous viewing experience.
Online TV - Research shows that Boomers are heavy Internet users with more
than half having high speed access at home. The Joy of Tech study found that
Boomers look forward to accessing and viewing content online and tapping into
the Internet as a great big library of TV programming. Over 80% of Boomers are
currently watching short-form content including trailers, sports and news clips
online and one-quarter are watching full length TV shows or movies.
The findings support a segmentation study showing that Boomers can be divided
into five groups based on their use of and relationship to new media technology:
Defined by the importance placed on new technology allowing them to take their
entertainment with them. The most upscale segment, and most technologically
cutting edge -- though TV programs are still their #1 source of entertainment.
The Cinema Experience
Most attached to their home theaters and HDTVs of any segment. Highly value
clarity and a vivid lifelike entertainment experience. Do not think it's important
that new entertainment technology save them time or simplify their lives. Most
likely of any segment to use satellite radio and wireless PDAs.
This group is defined by the importance they place on interactivity of new
entertainment technologies. They watch the most TV of any segment and are the
most likely to watch competition reality. They are also the most likely to watch
full-length TV/movies on the internet, and place high importance on keeping
up with new technologies.
The most likely to have children under 18 in the home, this group is defined
by the high importance they place on two benefits of new media technologies:
saving them time/simplifying their life, and connecting with friends and family
-- either by sharing the entertainment experience or merely keeping up with
things their friends and family enjoy. They are the most likely to own a video
Specifically uninterested in keeping up with technology for its own sake, this
group places high importance on anything that simplifies their lives and makes
it easier for them to access the entertainment they want, when (but not where)
they want it. They watch less TV than the other segments, are most likely to
use VOD, and are most attached to their Tivos/DVRs (among those who own them).
TV Land's Joy of Tech Study was done in three phases. First, a series of 10
in-depth interviews with Boomers was conducted to provide initial content and
insight necessary for development of the second phase, an online quantitative
survey with 2,036 respondents representing adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s and
50s. Then, in phase three, 10 in-home ethnographies were conducted with Boomers.
All study participants met and often exceeded the following criteria: have cable
and/or satellite TV, average one hour or more of TV viewing in the evening (7pm-
midnight), use the internet weekly for reasons more than e-mail and connect
to the internet from their home.
Latitude is an innovative custom audience research and consulting firm, with
a dedicated focus on television, the Internet, print, and cross-platform convergence.
By creating a sophisticated bridge between business strategy and audience preferences,
Latitude provides clients -- including MTV Networks, Time Warner, Scripps Networks,
Yahoo!, Conde Nast, and EMI -- with actionable insight for content development,
marketing strategy, and new business opportunities.
About TV Land
Now seen in over 88 million U.S. homes, TV Land is a division of MTV Networks.
TV Land's program mix features popular dramas, sitcoms, westerns, Retromercials
and a TV-referential interstitial environment, all programmed with a specific
audience in mind - the first generation of Americans to grow up watching television
and features all-time Classic hits like All in the Family, I Love Lucy, The
Andy Griffith Show, and Bonanza.
About MTV Networks
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA - News, VIA.B - News), is one of
the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.
MTV Networks, with more than 130 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following
television programming services - MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON,
NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO,
MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13
digital services, all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks
connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses
and its more than 200 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband,
wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements,
joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services
can be seen worldwide.