Commentary

It's All About Age

According to a Nielsen survey of more than 30,000 online consumers across 60 countries, TV viewing is one of the more popular spare-time activities across generations. But for Gen Z consumers, it takes a back seat to music listening and reading, as 37% of Gen Z respondents indicated that listening to music is one of their top-3 spare-time activities, ahead of reading (27%) and watching TV (23%)

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Several spare-time activities appear to be prominent across the other generations, according to Nielsen research. Watching TV, for example, is the leading spare-time activity for Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers while falling second only to reading among the Silent Generation.

Depending on our age, says the Nielsen report, our approach to something as simple as getting up-to-date news or eating out can be drastically different. But today’s consumers are bucking yesterday’s preconceived generational notions. In fact, many older people are embracing a more technology-driven world, and sizeable numbers of younger people are turning to more traditional values. Yet for all of our differences, in many ways, it’s remarkable how similar we are no matter the age.

Top Spare Time Activities (Selected as one of top three)

 

GenerationZ

Millennials

GenX

Boomers

SilentGen

Listen to music

37%

27

21

19

-

Read

27

20

24

29

42

Watch TV

23

31

38

42

40

Connect with family and friends

19

28

30

28

29

Travel

12

18

22

22

25

Exercise

18

 

 

 

 

Play online games

17

 

 

 

 

Review social Media

17

 

 

 

 

Play video games

16

 

 

 

 

Play sports

13

 

 

 

 

Shop online

11

 

 

 

 

Cook

8

 

 

 

 

Garden

2

 

 

 

 

Source: Nielsen, November 2015

In Nielsen’s survey, generations were defined by the following age ranges:

  • Generation: Z:  15-20;
  • Millennials:        21-34;
  • Generation X:   35-49;
  • Boomers:         50-64
  • Silent Generation:  65+

Recently, a study from Common Sense Media, says Marketing Charts, revealed that listening to music is the most common, and most enjoyed, media activity among US teens (13-18). TV viewing also emerged as a preferred media activity in that survey, although reading was further behind than in the Nielsen survey.

Both pieces of research show that social media is further down the list. In the Common Sense Media survey, 45% of US teens reported using social media everyday, while in the Nielsen survey, reviewing social media was only in the middle of the pack in terms of top spare-time activities, behind exercising and connecting with family and friends.

Separately, Nielsen’s “Global Generational Lifestyles” report also finds that:

  • While making money is the top future aspiration among Gen Z respondents, being fit and healthy is tops among Millennials and widens the gap with other aspirations alongside age, with family time also becoming more important with age
  • Boomers appear to be the most distracted at mealtimes, being the generation most likely to say that they eat most of their dinner meals at home while doing something else, and say that meal times are not technology free
  • Millennials (58%) are the most likely to eat out at least once a week, at twice the rate of Boomers (29%)
  • Millennials are the most apt to pay more for food with health benefits, citing fair trade benefits as their most important
  • Boomers (74%) are slightly more satisfied with their occupations than Millennials (68%) and Gen Xers (69%), and are also more satisfied with their work environment/setting and work/life balance
  • Given the choice, STEM emerges as the top career choice for Gen Zers, while IT is tops among Millennials and Gen Xers, Education & Training leads among Boomers, and Health Science would be the career choice of the largest share of those from the Silent Generation
  • Although a majority of respondents from all generations say they save enough money each month, more are not confident than confident in their financial futures
  • Boomers are the most likely to say that their debt motivates them to be careful about spending

For additional information from Nielsen, please visit here. And for Marketing Charts, here.

 

1 comment about "It's All About Age".
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  1. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, December 9, 2015 at 12:44 p.m.

    This is one time on RB that the survey comes up short based on my experience. Meaning, the Gen X and Boomers are far more active online in catagories that is not shown or ask.  There are many in this group who are spending much time replacing their entertainment from the traditional forms such as TV, reading books, and more with other online activities such as non-games or social media.  I have many members in these two groups who will enter sweepstakes and contest during a TV or TV commercial or simply give up TV entainment. They prefer to replace their entertainment time with opportunities to win prizes. While I am not advertising my business or hobby, I am saying this was overlooked in this survey.

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