Older Demos Show Tech Savvy, Too


Technology Ownership and Attitudes

Simmons National Consumer Survey
Available via Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing

Adults aged 18 to 29, called Millennials or “Echo Boomers,” are known for their embrace of new technologies.

But a research study released last week to members of the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing discovered that their Baby Boomer parents are just as likely to buy and use advanced technology.

The study gauges the penetration rate of 450 product categories from PCs (into 81% of the Millennial market and 82% into Baby Boomer homes) to digital video recorders and voice-over-Internet Protocol phone service.

The latter two categories were measured for the first time this year by The Simmons National Consumer Survey, which provided the data for the report. Gen Xers, defined here as adults 30-39, are the most devoted to DVRs. The segment reports 13% penetration, with 12% penetration among Millennials and 11% among Baby Boomers.

While 35% of Millennials report they love to buy new gadgets and try new applications, Baby Boomers don’t lag too far behind. According to the survey, 28% of Boomers are also aspirational about consumer technology. This generation is also just as likely to keep up with new developments: 41% v. 44% among Gen Xers or Millennials.

Baby Boomers are the ones most likely to put in lots of research before a purchase, according to the report.

Fifty-seven percent of that segment reported they closely examine technology before purchase, compared with 54% of Gen Xers and 53% of Millennials.

Linda LaVigne, director of research for CTAM, added the study peered at attitudinal differences between digital-cable and satellite TV customers. Digital-cable subscribers were found to be more likely to keep up with technological developments (46% vs. 40% among satellite users); expressed a greater love for new gadgets (31% vs. 27%); and take the most pride in getting new tech toys before their peers (13% vs. 10%).

LaVigne attributed those attitudinal differences to advances provided via digital cable, such as on-demand services.

“[Consumers] lead active, busy lives. Things like DVRs and on-demand services give them freedom to enjoy those busy lives while enjoying entertainment on their own terms,” she said.

CTAM acquired the data from The Simmons National Consumer Survey, a semi-annual comprehensive study of the U.S. population 18 and older. In this edition there were 25,000 respondents: 58% are cable customers, 24% take digital cable and 30% are satellite customers. The study has a margin of error plus or minus up to 1.5%