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Generation Gap: Online Content Consumption and Age

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
September 21, 2015
  |  3,828 views

How do the digital content consumption habits of Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers differ?

To find out, Fractl and BuzzStream surveyed 1,200 adults on how much digital content they engage with, when they look at content, which devices they use most frequently for content consumption, and whether they prefer short-form or long-form content.

The generations were defined by the researchers as follows: Millennials (born 1977-1995), Generation Xers (born 1965-1976), and Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964).

Below, key findings from the report.

Time Spent Consuming Content

  • Baby Boomers spend nearly 10% more time online consuming content than younger generations do.
  • Baby Boomers are also the group most likely to spend 20+ hours each week consuming content: 25% say they do so.
  • The largest share of Gen Xers and Millennials—just over 22% each—spend 5-10 hours per week consuming content.

When Content Is Consumed

  • Baby Boomers tend to consume more online content during the week, whereas Millennials save much of their content consumption for the weekends; Gen Xers fall somewhere in between.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers consume most of their content between 8 PM and midnight, local time.
  • Baby Boomers consume most of their content in the mornings: Nearly 40% say they are online between 5 AM and noon.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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