Media’s Millennial Myth: ‘They’ll Grow Into It’ | Advertising Age ::first newspapers and now TV reach realization::

Table 2: Weekly Time Spent, Traditional TV Viewing, By Birth Year Cohort -- In Minutes

At first glance, it seems obvious: Younger people watch less traditional TV — television programming when it is scheduled — but as they grow older, they watch it more. By the time they’re in their 50s, they watch scheduled TV almost twice as much as when they were young. After they retire, their TV minutes grow even more.

But looking at the data another way… we see a much less positive picture of traditional TV viewing. (It) estimates that you watch traditional TV programming a third less than your parents do, and that your kids watch it a third less than them. There is no major change in behavior at some specific age bracket.

The habits of younger people persist as they age. The columns of the table will continue to march to right until they fall off.

Twenty years ago, the newspaper industry — then riding high — looked at the same kind of numbers and made the obvious conclusion as well. It seemed reasonable that at an age between 35 and 40, U.S. adults would get married, buy a home, and start reading newspapers. It took a brilliant presentation by senior researcher Greg Martire in 1999 to show us our emperor had no clothes. Sure enough, as the years have passed, the newspaper reader “sweet spot” has aged. Now the time has come for scheduled broadcast TV to see the same progression.

Read the full piece at Advertising Age