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Affluent use more media

News, 04 October 2016

NEW YORK: Affluent US consumers, already heavy media users, are using even more as they diversify into new digital platforms, new research has shown, partly a consequence of the greater numbers of Gen Xers entering this demographic.

The latest Ipsos Affluent Survey USA defines 'Affluent' as adults living in households with at least $100,000 in annual household income, a group that reflects the top 25% of American households; Affluents have a median income of $146,000.

This reported that, for the first time, Generation Xers outnumbered Baby Boomers within the Affluent population.

And this "generational changing of the guard" is accelerating, the survey said, with Gen Xers now accounting for 36% of the total – outnumbering Boomers (32%), Millennials (27%) and Seniors (5%).

In terms of media consumption, television viewership was more or less universal, with 97% of Affluents having watched television in the past week; and readership of print publications remained largely stable – Affluents read a median of six of 130 surveyed magazine titles.

In social media, Facebook was by far the most widely used social platform, with 78% of Affluents having used it in the past week, and the median amount of time spent being three hours a week.

But newer channels were growing rapidly, especially Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, and with distinct generational differences evident.

Thus, Snapchat has risen most among Millennials (18-34 year olds), while Pinterest and Twitter was up most among Gen Xers (35-51 years old), and LinkedIn was more popular with Seniors (aged 71+).

"Affluent use of digital and mobile media continues to rise, while their use of traditional media remains largely stable – resulting in a net increase in Affluent media audiences overall," observed Dr. Stephen Kraus, study Director and Chief Insights Officer.

The survey also reported that, as in previous waves, Affluent consumers expressed most interest in advertising seen on television and in magazines.

It added, however, that there was growing interest evident for advertising on social media, on mobile devices, and in "ambient" contexts such as taxis, elevators, health clubs and casinos/race tracks.

Data sourced from Ipsos; additional content by Warc staff