Thursday, March 10, 2011

Television's Senior Moment (Wall Street Journal)

For decades the TV industry has operated on a currency of youth, creating shows that appeal to 18- to 49-year-olds, the age group advertisers traditionally consider most likely to buy new products, switch brands and spend on everything from cars to soft drinks. But as the nearly 80 million baby boomers continue to age out of the coveted demographic—the oldest boomers are turning 65 this year, the youngest 47—networks want to charge advertisers more to reach them. After all, these viewers still watch a disproportionate amount of TV, and they control half of all U.S. consumer spending. ...

The networks want marketers to ignore age and pay for viewers based on income and other factors—in effect paying more for affluent viewers who are 55-plus. CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler says the network has always created shows that appeal to all ages. But "boomers have always been a priority customer for us," she adds.

"Rather than saying a 22-year-old is more valuable than a 58-year-old, we're saying, 'Look, the fact is an affluent 58-year-old is certainly more valuable than a 22-year-old who is just getting by,' " says David Poltrack, chief research officer at CBS Corp., parent of the CBS network.
Makes sense to me - and a step away from the youth obsession in Hollywood is good news for everyone, in my opinion. Changes in TV will lead to changes in film, which could mean fewer movies that are retreads, sequels, or based on "established properties" that don't necessarily mean anything to the Boomers. More original fare all around! Unless someone wants to make "Cocoon 3" - then I'm totally on board. :)

Read the full article here.

No comments: