The digital generation divide is closing, according to the 2009 Media Engagement Barometer, commissioned by Motorola’s Home & Networks Mobility businesses.
In other words, the long-standing perception has been that generations adapt to media technology differently, and that the younger the customer, the more willing to try new things. The survey says age is no longer the differentiator.
"(Age) distinctions are being replaced by usage categories of consumption," said Eduardo Conrado, chief marketing officer for the division.
In fact, 64 percent of Gen Xers and 65 percent of Baby Boomers compared to 79 percent of Millennials said that being accessible at all times is a necessity.
And while 2008 research showed that 71 percent of Millennials helped direct parents’ decisions about cable, satellite and DSL services, in this more recent study so-called tech influencers spanned the generations. About 87 percent of Gen Xers and 79 percent of Boomers said they influence tech decisions of their children.
"The people that influence purchases at home and with peers is not necessarily defined by age, but passion and usage habits," Conrado said.
Across the generations, 50 percent of all respondents were interested in customizable applications for TV and 60 percent were interested in TV technology that analyzes content being watched to make recommendations.
"Gen Xers and Boomers are just as willing and able to interact with programs," Conrado said, noting that 57 percent of those surveyed reported already receiving recommendations and 46 percent of Millennials, 45 percent of Gen Xers and 45 percent of Boomers acted on them.
Conrado said he expects to see service providers focusing on delivering a personal media solution and extending the video experience beyond the home. Motorola will share the results with its customers and the products it will show at events like the Mobile World Congress will reflect the consumption habits and preferences consumers have demonstrated in the research.
"Our focus has been on delivering personalized media experiences to consumers…What we are seeing in the research is reinforcing (that) consumers want personalized content…there (is a) need for media mobility in the home (and) outside the home," Conrado said.
The study consisted of a 15-minute telephone interview of 1,000 Americans age 16-64, which took place between August 28 and September 11. Motorola plans to replicate the survey in Europe and expects to have results during the first quarter 2010. "We are interested in the differences and similarities with the North American market," Conrado said.