More Baby Boomers Embracing Web 2.0

    September 9, 2008

Online activities primarily popular with younger people are now receiving the attention of baby boomers. Recent surveys of U.S. consumers found that 61 percent of baby boomer Internet users (age 44 to 61) had visited sites that offer streaming and downloadable video while 41 percent had visited social networks.

"There’s an ongoing misperception that certain Web activities are the exclusive domain of young people," said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for The NPD Group. "That misperception could cost the entertainment industry, in terms of lost opportunities to target valuable consumers."

NPD’s "Entertainment Trends in America" tracking study found that more than half of all Internet users (57%) visited a social network in the past three months. While younger Internet users (13 to 34) are more likely to visit social networking sites and visit them frequently, baby boomers visited social networking sites an average of 8 times over the last three months.

The study found that baby boomers who participate in activities like social networking or video streaming, are more likely to buy DVDs,CDs and go to the movies. On average baby boomers who stream video are 15 percent more likely to buy a CD, DVD, or movie tickets.

"As more consumers of all ages spend more time online, there’s potentially going to be less time for them to consume entertainment content in traditional ways," Crupnick said.

"These findings underscore the growing need for entertainment companies to promote and distribute digital entertainment content online, in order to keep pace with the changing needs and desires of consumers of all ages."