In conjunction with survey partners Hallmark Channel and the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC), E-Poll Market Research has concluded a study of U.S. media consumption, revealing that Americans’ media behavior is most greatly affected by their stage in life, rather than demographic or economic factors. The study, titled “Life Stage: Its Impact on the Future of Traditional and Emerging Media,” explores the attitudes and traces the distinct and often contrasting behaviors of eight major life stage groups, including Teens, College Students, Recent Grads, Single No Kids, New Nesters, Established Families, Married No Kids and Empty Nesters.
The wealth of information captured in the survey reveals that individuals in different life stages can have very similar demographic profiles but different attitudes and media usage. For example, the 18 – 49 demographic group familiar to TV and advertising executives is made up of people in seven different stages, with College Students, New Nesters and Married No Kids comprising nearly equal proportions. Three of the life stages have a median age of 37 or 38. Yet when examining behavior, the life stages are distinct and exhibit clear differences.
The survey goes on to explore the definitions, distinctions and habits of each of the life stages in detail, covering such data points as financial situation, leisure activities, life satisfaction, activities on which they are spending more/less time, and usage of, and attitudes regarding a wide range of media technologies.
Implications for Media and Technology Companies
Among the questions addressed in the research, the study assesses the importance of various media technologies to each of the life stages, with a laptop as the item most difficult to give up for most groups, particularly college students at 80% saying it would be “very hard to give up.” Meanwhile, smartphones are particularly important to Single No Kids households at 64%, and significantly less so to Empty Nesters (32%). A DVD player, DVD subscription service, Video on Demand (VOD) and HDTV are most important to New Nesters, with Teens feeling less attachment to those technologies, while College Students are hooked on their iPods and video game consoles. A full list is below.
About The Study
“Life Stage: Its Impact on the Future of Traditional and Emerging Media” is a national pilot research study to examine the impact of life stages on emerging media. Further studies will be fielded in the coming months to gain additional insight into key consumer trends that facilitate cross-industry discussions about today’s reality and the future of potential digital entertainment offerings. For more information about life stage research, please contact E-Poll Market Research at 877-MY-EPOLL, or fill out a request form here.