Media opportunities…Change is bound to happen! – 41 to 55 yrs: We love traditional media

1019 people were surveyed during the last 6 weeks by my students Digital Culture (Cross Media Management @ University College Karel de Grote – Antwerp) on their (digital) media ownership and usage. Today I’m launching the third part of my daily updates with the results of this survey. The first parts are the results per age category, my 5th and last update will contain overall results!

Part 3 – 41 to 55 yrs: We love traditional media

This mature adult generation is connected through more traditional media like PC (76%) and/or LapTop (72%), while tablet (33%) and smart phone use (40) are less frequently used. Only 17% of this generation owns a 4 digital devices and is less connected through multiple devices, and 5% doesn’t own any of these digital devices to connect with the digital society. How will this affect the media use of this generation?

We grew up with paper newspapers
This is a generation that grew up with newspapers. 52% admits to read a newspaper daily, while only 7% says to never read a newspaper. All newspaper readers, both frequent and less frequent readers, prefer a paper version over any other digital version. Even if they own a tablet or smart phone, more than 50% of daily readers prefer a paper newspaper over the digital one.

Magazines in troubled water
Only 43% of this generation says they read a magazine on weekly basis, while 17% claim to never read a magazine. For a generation in love with traditional media, I find these numbers staggering! No need to point out, that this generation prefers its magazines in paper (94% – n=66, weekly readers). Only 6% says to turn to a digital version of a magazine. It’s obvious that magazines are in need of a new business model, building them from the ground up…to serve any (new?) audience!

Television is our middle name
78% of this generation watches television on daily basis…television is definitely part of this generation’s (free time) culture. Only 1 person claims to never watch television.  100% of daily viewers prefers watching television through a traditional television, while the use of any other digital device for television watching is negligible. If asked for mobile device usage while watching television only 18% say they do. So this generation are dedicated TV viewers, who limit their attention span almost solely to the TV experience. Less than 10% says to engage through social media to interact with Television channels or show.

Own Survey –
Image –

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Posted in Flat Business, Flat Lifestyle
26 comments on “Media opportunities…Change is bound to happen! – 41 to 55 yrs: We love traditional media
  1. Anca Mihaela Scutaru says:

    I think it is difficult for old people to adapt to new media…sometimes for me is too difficult to know about all new technology…but for my grandparents, it is almost impossible. For my parents is difficult,too…but they adapt easier to the new technology than my grandparents.
    I use traditional devices, too….for example, for watching TV, I use only the TV or sometimes, when I don”t have a TV I use my laptop. But never my mobile phone. I don”t know why…in my mind, mobile phone is used for communication, TV for entertainment and to get informations, and so on….this was the time when I was born.
    I am sure that my children will use all the technology available…and maybe I will start use it in the future.

  2. Manon says:

    It is right that some people are afraid of new technology and so don’t use it. But I think that more and more people even if they have more than 41 years old try to use it because now we live in a world where you are compulsory to understand little bit this way of communication (smartphone, internet…) because you have a lot here.

  3. Jassin Uddin says:

    I think this generation has often troubles in adopting to new technology. They were not born is the computer era like we did. I just don’t think that it’s necessary that they use all these new inventions like online newspapers, etc. They’re is nothing wrong with reading books, newspapers or magazines in paper. This generation tries his best and that’s good enough for me!

  4. My mom AND my aunt fall into this category and while me mom really struggles with using new technology like tablets or smartphones. My aunt really is into all this technology and uses Facebook on a daily basis. So I think it also depends on your interests.
    What they both agree on (as far as I can see) is that they both read paper newspapers and paper magazine, at home we have a newspaper subscription and so does my aunt. We also have magazine subscriptions but to different magazines which they give to eachother when they read it. They also both watch television everyday. I think the reason why I don’t watch tv on a traditional television is that I know my mom is in charge of the TV downstairs and that’s not always what I or my sister want to see. Although I prefer to watch television on a traditional television, I don’t because it’s not the program I want to watch. I think especially magazines should stay on paper, it’s nice to actually feel that in your hands while you read it. I really agree on that and so does this generation apparently.

  5. Helsen Jonas says:

    I noticed that these people are really chained to their television. But, it depends on interests, like Bertien said in the above post. People who have a lot of meeting, see loads of people in a day and so on are more formiliar with new digital technologie. They simply need to adapt and change with their environment. People with a boring 9 to 5 job, are more likely to watch tv in the evening to relax. They simply don’t want to make an effort to learn new things. However, all of this depends on interests. My mother wants an iPad, but she’s still trying to persuade my father that those machines are really fun and easy to use.

  6. Alexander De Winter says:

    If I compare this with my parents I definitely can say that it is true. I think that these people are interested in new media but are also afraid of what the impact will be on their everyday life. Most of them can work with a computer . Some people of that age also need it for their work. But they don’t see the positive points of new media. They like to read a paper newspaper because it’s a ritual and they don’t know why they would change it into a digital version.
    But step by step they will change and use more and more the social media and the new devices that are coming. Because they are required to keep up with the society and improve their capacity.

  7. lislot says:

    I think these people are also a little of the impact of the internet, putting your whole life on the net sounds horrible to them. My mother still has some old Nokie mobile phone and when Facebook changes his layout all of sudden, she is in panic because she can’t find something. My father on the other hand has a smartphone and is thinking of buying a tablet. I think they are slowly sliding into this digital era, but I think the problem is that the digital world is changing too fast for them to be able to catch up.

  8. Denis Vandepitte says:

    This category is hard to predict. I think there’s a big variety of media usage here. Especially depending on the job the person has. People working in offices often get smartphones and/or tablets for work, others don’t. I think this plays a major role..

  9. Lina Chaoui says:

    This generation grew up with paper and simple devices, no smartphones, tablets. I think it is harder for them to leave all their habits behind to start a whole new lifestyle.

    Also with television, they don’t want to give it up. My parents don’t like it. We have only a few years digitale tv. Before that we had just an antenna and 3 channels. But my dad wanted to see sports, and that was impossible with those 3 channels. But we can’t delay or record anything, they want everything to be real.

  10. As this is the generation of my parents I see lots of simularities. Maybe my mom is an exception because she uses her iPad almost all the time (she only uses her laptop to update the iPad). But still she doesn’t use second screen apps or social media DURING television. She sure uses Social Media, she’s even on twitter, but one way or another people of this generation find it hard to devide their attention between tablet, mobile or laptop and TV.

  11. Gabriela Dos Santos says:

    My parents fall into this category and I see a big contrast on their behavior. My mom is very into all new technologies… She owns a laptop, tablet, smartphone and is connected to all social media channels while my dad can barely surf on internet.

    I’m not surprised with the results, especially with the percentage of the people who watch daily television; since they represent the television generation.

  12. alejandro navalon says:

    Many members of my family are inside this category, they are really trying to adapt to the new media but they can’t do it completely. They never read a newspaper online, and they always watch movies on TV never in their laptops. Of course there are exceptions for example my father loves new technologies and he has a tablet, a smart phone, a laptop, an ebook he has a lot of this new stuff but i agree that not so many people of this age are totally adapted to the new era

  13. Stefaan Tiepermann says:

    I can see my parents when I draw an image in my head while reading this article. The absolutely love watching television in the evening. We have tons of TVs at home so practically every member of the family can watch what he or she wants, when he or she wants. Although I have to admit my father loves to spend time on my iMac. He discovered online links to football games. Now he sometimes uses my desktop as a TV to watch football games that aren’t being broadcasted on television. My mother on the other hand isn’t that much into my computer but keeps talking about an iPad. She wants an iPad. And I wonder why. I can’t imagine my mother scrolling with her fingers on a touchscreen. But I think it’s rather funny how my parents ‘discover’ these sorts of devices while I just knew about them from they existed.

  14. Annelies Mampaey says:

    This generation really grew up with daily newspapers, comics and the first magazines. The generation before them hadn’t all those opportunities. So it’s logic that those people are faithful to their paper versions. It’s really nostalgic and they didn’t knew something else. It’s difficult change something that is a habit for so long.
    Another habit of that generation is watching television in the evening. They will always do this. The younger generations watch television and at the same time the do a lot of other things. My mom can’t watch her show and use the computer at the same time. She really missed everything from it. Meanwhile I know everything that happened at her show.

  15. Monaa says:

    The numbers you can see here are pretty obvious. Because these people grew up with reading the newspaper in the paper version. So it will be normal that they continue doing this because they are used to it and probably they are not into change. The percentage of people that own a pc are stable and a little bit more than they own a laptop. People in this age category are more used to a steady pc than a portable laptop.

    In this category you can also see that the people like to watch daily television without even using their smartphone. At least a small amount uses their smartphone or laptop. The other percentage of people probably just want to relax after a hard day of work.

  16. Devin Hendrickx says:

    People will always love traditional media. The things that are traditional media, those things will change. We as people are creatures of habit and a habit of most people between 41-55 is watching television with the family when they come home from work. It’s also a habit for people between 41-55 to read the newspaper in the morning. A huge amount of people hate to break some habits and I think traditional media is one of those. It’s also very hard to replace by anything else.

  17. Matti Verhaegen says:

    My parents are both just passed the age of fifty and if I look to the numbers of the survey, it is similar to the way my parents live today. They love to read the paper version of the newspaper and the weekly magazines. In the evening, they just have to watch television. It is, like Devin said, a habit and they can’t drop that habit! It is just a part of their live. Fortunately, I got it together that we bought the new iPad. In this way, they are a little bit more integrated in the new world!

  18. Yolanda Van Mechelen says:

    To me these numbers reflect my own environment. My mom reads her magazine every week but she prefers the paper version, refusing to buy a tablet. She has a smartphone but doesn’t use the apps on it or the internet…just because she didn’t grew up with it and changing a habit or learning something new seems to be difficult with this generation.
    She knows how to use the computer, yet she doesn’t know how to use Google the right way with the correct key words, I think we’re lucky to have been born after this revolution called the internet & we’re lucky to grow up with it and grow into it.

  19. Ernest Nwanu says:

    My mom’s behavior confirms the accuracy of this survey. She’s scared to even touch anything “tech”. Always clinging to classic newspapers/magazines. She makes an effort to learn, but she’s always scared of breaking something.

  20. Vince Campforts says:

    The era of facebook has begun! My parents are totally diffrent in this case. My mom is realy in to the social networking theme while my father still prefers his newspaper and a game of football on the tv, with a beer ofcourse (Jupiler generation). To be honest I don’t like the fact that my mom is facebook addicted, she sees everying I post and if she doesn’t like it she will nagg for the whole next week. Life was so much easyer without social media.

  21. It is Bossche says:

    My mom’s behavior confirms this survey. She’s old school en anything what’s new she just can’t work with it. Although she’s getting allong with email 🙂

  22. Antje says:

    Television is definitely part of this generation’s (free time) culture. I can confirm that. When I’m home I always watch TV daily. But when I’m at my place not. My parents belong to this group and I can confirm they love traditional media. But even for me it was at the beginning difficult to deal with all the devices and social media networks. I thought my old phone is enough and I don’t need Facebook. Times changes, but not in this category. They grew up like this and will still live that way.

  23. Eva Zuggal says:

    I totally agree to all the comments about parents behaviour… the biggest problem I see is that they often do not want to “try something out”… it seems like they are frightened of destroying something. The younger generation just klicks until it works… The effect: Parents often wait until the younger ones explain it or do it for them ;).

    But never give up… Thanks to mobile devices such as the iPad, things seem to become less complex …. Best example – my grandma never touched a computer in her whole live. Now she is already above 80 and is using an iPad since a couple of months and enjoys writing email.

  24. Karin Lanz says:

    I agree with the comments above, for some people in this age group adopting to new things might be difficult. But I also belive that lots of these people have to use digital devices at their work stations all day long (thus they know how they work, know their benefits). So they might be happy not to have to use it at home as well. Might it be a matter of distinguishing between home and work?!?

  25. Brigitte Ortlieb says:

    Without wanting to generalize: But the generation 41-55 years old is also catching up. They do not want to lag miles behind their children. I have to admit that often they get to know certain apps, devices and so on because their children use them first, but then they are keen on catching up. Of course one cannot give up entrenched habits easily so it will take a longer time before they really are digital people.

    • Carmen Epacher says:

      I think it is verry important for this generation to work with digital media and to know the opportunities and how to use this devices.
      This is the generation of my parents. And this generation is still on the job. So there are a lot of situations in which they are confronted with mobile devices and in which they need to know how to work with mobile devices.
      Sometimes they need help with their mobile devices, but sometimes I’m surprised how much they know and how good they can use the devices.

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