At Setplex, we innovate in the IPTV world through our end-to-end IPTV solutions—it’s what inspires and drives our brand every day. We’re dedicated to creating industry-leading IPTV products, and strive to give content providers everything they need to create a seamless, secure, and stunning content experience for their end users.
But who are their end users, exactly? For some of our clients who deliver content to a global market, audience targeting can be as simple as providing the best in Albanian television programming to Albanians across the world, or by providing sports bars and pubs with seamless streaming of soccer (or more dialectically correct, football) and other gaelic sports for die-hard sports fans.
But sometimes, targeting an IPTV audience takes on a more age-related, generational shape. Understanding the age and socioeconomic generation of your audience can be critical to your success as a content provider, and can help you tailor the content experience to suit your audience’s content needs.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the three largest generational segments who consume media, and how their identity, cultural place in the world, and media consumption tendencies can shape your content delivery business.
Baby Boomers are the tried and true generation—the Old Faithful of media consumers. Indoctrinated into traditional, passive TV culture of the 1950s and ‘60s, Baby Boomers have spent decades as watchers of television programming, only modifying their viewing habits to welcome new innovations like cable and satellite TV. However, with the advancement of Internet-based technologies, high-tech content streaming devices, and content platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Sling TV, Baby Boomers are flocking to more advanced technologies to consume media content—earning the name “digital immigrants” as a description of their transition.
Until 2016, Baby Boomers were the largest segment of media consumers, with millennials surpassing them by a small margin. However, they are still an incredibly large group, and an important one at that. We’ll touch on this fact again later—but Baby Boomers spend much more time consuming online content than any other audience. This is something to keep in mind when creating and curating IPTV content.
If there’s one generation that seemingly lacks a collective identity (and is largely overlooked in the realm of marketing and media consumerism), it’s Gen-X. As the generation proceeding Baby Boomers, and the smallest generation of the three predominant generations of media consumers, many Gen-X people don’t even identify with their Gen-X status, and are difficult to pin down as far as consumer identity goes. According to a MetLife survey of the Gen-X age group, only 41 percent actually identified themselves as Gen-X—28 percent claimed to be Baby Boomers, 12 percent identified themselves as millennials, and 19 percent either didn’t know which group they identified with or felt they didn’t identify with any group in particular.
This enigmatic generation can be frustrating for IPTV content providers to target, as they seem to transcend generational boundaries. But as a rule of thumb, Gen-X appears to be a much more technologically savvy generation than baby boomers, and can adapt to newer, more advanced IPTV and content streaming technologies. You know the old saying—the IPTV train is leaving the station, and Gen-X can hop on or be left behind.
Millennials *A Baby Boomer Groans*
There might not be a word that grinds the gears of older generations more than the word “millennials.” After all, they’re the most entitled, least socially engaged, and most woefully addicted to digital media, right? Not so fast, old man. While some millennials might be entitled and disengaged from current events of the day, they actually spend less time consuming digital media than Gen-X and Baby Boomer generations.
In a joint study by Fractl and Buzzstream called “The Generational Content Gap,” 1,200 people across Millennial, Gen-X, and Baby Boomer generations were surveyed on their media viewing habits—and the results might be surprising to everyone but Millennials. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) said they spent 20+ hours per week consuming online content on a variety of devices, while Gen-X (1965-1976) and Millennials (1977-1995) said they consumed online content for 5-10 hours per week.
But it’s also important to note the platform(s) by which millennials are consuming media. Millennials are much more likely to use a mobile phone as their primary device for media consumption, followed by desktops, laptops, and tablets respectively.
If you’re targeting a millennial audience, you can’t just curate appropriate content for this group—you need to meet them on the devices they use the most, and make the content experience seamless and accessible.
What does this mean for IPTV?
Ultimately, IPTV content providers are in charge of creating and curating content that meets the needs, desires, and consumer habits of their respective audiences—whether it’s predominantly Baby-Boomers, Gen-X, or Millennials. But they also need to keep in mind where and how these generational groups are consuming their content. Millennials are absorbing content through iPhones and other streaming devices, but what about five years from now? What about the future viewing habits of Generation Z (born in 1996 through the mid-2000s), who have been born into a culture of highly accessible internet and social media usage, and make up 25 percent of the U.S. population?
For IPTV technology to be relevant for today’s generations and generations to come, it must change at the same pace as our cultural and media landscape. This is Setplex’s greatest passion, and something that drives us to innovate every single day. We’re dedicated to creating industry-leading IPTV solutions that meet the ever-changing needs of consumers, so your content delivery business is always at the forefront of the media world. It doesn’t matter which generation(s) you’re trying to reach—Setplex offers end-to-end IPTV solutions from sleek set-top boxes and professional encoding to stable and seamless white-label content apps. Be a part of the IPTV revolution—get started with Setplex today!