Canadian Boomers are still embracing traditional media

MTM's latest report shows that Boomers are still a big influence in society and the marketplace.

MTM (Media Technology Monitor) has released the first in its Media Use and Technology Adoption through the Generations series of reports, beginning with the country’s largest demographic – Boomers.

Each report focuses on media and technology adoption by generation – Millennials (ages 18-40), Boomers (ages 56-75) and Seniors (age 76+) –  and looks at a different age cohort in the anglophone and francophone markets.

MTM found that the size and affluence of the Boomer generation is still an influence in society and with new technologies appealing to more to younger groups, though MTM has found that Boomers are following the trends in some cases.

The report found that three in 10 anglophones can be classified as Boomers, either younger or older. The Echo Continues – Boomers and Technology separates Boomers into younger (56-64 years old) and older (65-75 years old) cohorts.

Although younger Boomer anglophones have moved towards online options instead of traditional subscriptions, the majority of Boomers still subscribe to traditional TV services such as cable or satellite. Under a tenth of younger Boomers are opting to get TV predominantly from online sources rather than a linear TV subscription. Older Boomers report watching around 24 hours of linear TV in a typical week, four times more time than spent watching SVOD services. Younger Boomers typically watch nearly 20 hours of linear TV a week, two and a half times more than SVOD viewing.

Additionally, subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) services are quite popular among Boomers. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of younger Boomers and three-fifths (60%) of older Boomers subscribe to at least one SVOD service. Netflix is the most-subscribed service, with 62% of younger Boomers and 52% of older Boomers subscribing to the streamer. Bell-owned streaming service Crave is more popular with Boomers than is Disney+, which is the opposite of preferences among younger generations of anglophones. This is likely tied to Crave being bundled to subscription linear TV services. YouTube is also a very important source of video content for Boomers. Seven in ten younger Boomers and 54% of older Boomers watch content on YouTube.

MTM also reported that traditional media is still an important news source for Boomers. A quarter of younger Boomers and a third of older Boomers subscribe to newspapers, either online or a print edition, according to the Spring 2021 survey. They are also more likely than younger anglophones to watch TV news channels, such as CBC News Network or CTV News Channel. The internet is also an important source for Boomers with 73% of younger and 63% of older Boomers reading news online. Online news clips are also viewed by nearly half of all Boomers.

When it comes to social media, younger Boomers are 33% more likely to engage in social networking than are older Boomers. Facebook is the overwhelming favourite network among Boomers. Pinterest is the second, followed by LinkedIn, the third most popular site among younger Boomers, likely because they’re still active in the workforce.

Boomers still look to terrestrial radio as their main source of audio content with 86% of Boomers saying they listened to radio content in the past month. Older Boomers are 69% more likely to do so than they are to listen to online audio content, while younger Boomers are 26% more likely to listen to terrestrial than online. Younger and older Boomers report spending roughly nine hours each week listening to terrestrial radio although younger Boomers say they listen to three more hours of online audio content than do older Boomers.

Two-thirds of Boomers have access to a tablet, while 69% of younger anglophones have them. They are more likely to use their tablets for more activities than are younger anglophones, saying they use them for reading online news, social media, and online audio.