TV increasingly for the old, Internet for the young

A new analysis suggests the population of TV watchers is aging faster than the US and Internet users tend to be younger:

The median age of a broadcast or cable television viewer during the 2013-2014 TV season was 44.4 years old, a 6 percent increase in age from four years earlier. Audiences for the major broadcast network shows are much older and aging even faster, with a median age of 53.9 years old, up 7 percent from four years ago.

These television viewers are aging faster than the U.S. population, Nathanson points out. The median age in the U.S. was 37.2, according to the U.S. Census, a figure that increased 1.9 percent over a decade. So to put that in context of television viewing, he said TV audiences aged 5 percent faster than the average American…

For younger audiences, control over when and where they watch has driven the trend away from traditional television. Live television viewing was down 13 percent for all ages except for viewers 55 years and older, who are steadily watching their shows at their scheduled broadcast time.

But, what about watching TV on the Internet? Here is more about watching different kinds of videos online:

Teens said they identify more with YouTube celebrities such as comedians Ryan Higa and Smosh, a “Saturday Night Live”-style singing, rapping duo, more than Hollywood A-listers Jennifer Lawrence and Seth Rogen, according to a July poll commissioned by Variety Magazine.

And like YouTube, Vine, which is owned by Twitter and has 40 million registered users, is producing celebrities who are getting increasingly picked up by mainstream media.

Perhaps not too surprising. Yet, it may lead to some interesting changes with both mediums. TV has traditionally tried to chase younger audiences, people that are impressionable and have spend a lot of disposable income. How much should TV chase younger viewers, particularly as the Baby Boomers, people used to TV and spending, age? On the other side, young Internet users do grow up at some point. Can sites like Facebook and YouTube continue to appeal to aging users as well as younger users who want new things?

At the least, this suggests moving images are not going away anytime soon, even if the delivery mode changes.

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