Audience Deep Dive: A Look at Older Adult CTV Usage
by Cat Hausler3 min read
Nearly half of U.S. adults aged 65+ are CTV users.
Older adults are becoming increasingly more tech savvy.
Seventy-percent of people aged 55-64 watch digital video content on an internet connected device at least once a month.
Move over Gen Zs, Millennials and Gen Xers—the older generations are using Connected TV in large numbers.
Millennials may have recently become the largest living generation¹, but with ~54M people 65 years or older living in the U.S.², older adult customer segments shouldn’t be overlooked.
They might not be up to date on the newest social media or pop culture trends, however, the senior generations are using Connected TV (CTV) in force. In fact, nearly half of U.S. adults aged 65+ are CTV users³.
Older adults aren’t simply consuming content on CTV, they’re contributing significantly to the cord-cutting revolution. In 2021, 20%⁴ of adults 55 years of age or older said that they planned to get rid of their cable subscriptions, up from just 8% the year before.
Older Adults Are Tech Savvy
CTV isn’t the only technology older adults are utilizing—they are familiar with a variety of mediums. While this consumer group trails behind younger generations when it comes to tech ownership and social media usage, older adult behaviors are shifting. In 2021, 61%⁵ of people 65+ reported owning a smartphone—up from 46% in 2018 and a particularly dramatic increase from 13% in 2012.
Forty-four percent of the same group said that they currently own a tablet (only 6% did in 2012). And, almost half of older adults (45%) reported that they use social media of some sort—a 4X increase since 2010. In addition, 75% of people 65+ are internet users.
A High Percentage of Older Adults Consume Content Via Digital Video
Older adults may not be overly active on social media, but many are consuming video content online. Seventy-percent⁶ of people aged 55-64 watch digital video content on an internet connected device at least once a month. And, 50% of consumers 65+ reported the same behavior.
Older adults are active CTV users and are becoming increasingly more tech savvy. So, it’s wise for brands to develop advertising plans that specifically target this audience. This said, advertisers need to be mindful when messaging to this group. Advertisements developed for older adult audiences should be pointedly different than those directed at Gen Zs, Millennials and Gen Xers. No matter what a brand is selling, it’s important to build targeted CTV advertising strategies that speak directly to older adults’ needs in order to drive ad performance and engagement.
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1 Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation (Pew Research Center)
2 Older Population and Aging (United States Census Bureau)
3 Connected TV Users, By Age (eMarketer)
5 Share of those 65 and older who are tech users has grown in the past decade (Pew Research Center)
6 Digital Video Viewer Penetration, By Age (eMarketer)