According to the latest ChangeWave survey of business professionals between the ages of 45 and 63 on TV viewing habits vs. home Internet usage, these Boomers consumer-spend-insightsspend more free time online than they do watching traditional TV. And, by a five-to-one margin, Boomers are watching less traditional television than they did a year ago. Among this group, 62% say it’s because they’re not as interested in what’s on TV these days, and another 26% say they’re spending more time surfing the web. While Boomers clearly want to see fewer ads than they do with conventional broadcasting, 68% say they are willing to view at least some ads online. According to the findings of the study, one place that Boomer professionals are spending more time online is with social networking sites, where 51% say they currently maintain one or more profiles. Nearly three-in-five of these Boomers report they use the networking site LinkedIn, while another 55% have a Facebook profile, the site normally thought to be most popular among teenagers. 77% of users say they would not be willing to pay a subscriber fee for social networking. Of all the services, LinkedIn is the most likely to attract paid subscribers with 7% say they’d be willing to pay a fee if it was no longer free. The report summarizes by noting that the shift among Boomers towards Video-over-the-Internet is a long-term trend that bodes poorly for traditional TV service providers, as they face challenges:

  • 20% of Boomers are likely to downgrade (or cancel) their current TV service in the next 6 months, mostly among Cable and Satellite users
  • 44% say TV service is the paid subscription they are most willing to give up
  • 48% said they’d be willing to pay a monthly fee for a Video-over-the-Internet subscription if it provided the same programming currently available on their TV service

Source: “ChangeWave survey,” conducted by ChangeWave, June 15, 2009.    Website: www.changewave.com.