Generational differences in media consumption grow wider


The gap between how younger and older generations in the UK are consuming commercial media has increased dramatically over the past five years, according to a new IPA report.

Making sense. The commercial media landscape, based on IPA TouchPoints data, shows that the correlation between the media use of 16-34 year-olds and over-55s, from a time-spent perspective, was 58% in 2015, but this had fallen by more than half to 25% in 2019.

A similar, if less dramatic, decline story is evident when looking at the correlation in the reach of channels, which fell from 44% in 2015 to 35% in 2019.

“Different age groups now have very different patterns of media consumption, and this is likely to persist,” said Les Binet, Group Head of Effectiveness, adam&eveDDB, who provided analysis on the report.

“Indeed, the great Digital Transformation probably won’t be complete until the pre-internet generation is dead and buried,” he added.

“This makes life more complex for marketers, but it also makes it more interesting. We need to master a wider range of channels now, but we can use them to evoke a wider range of effects.”

The amount of time all adults spend with digital media (defined as requiring an internet connection) has increased by 19% in five years, from 42% in 2015 to 50% in 2019.

But this growth has been particularly prevalent among 16-34s, who spend 73% of their time with digital channels up from 59% in 2015, marking a 24% growth in five years.

Across all adults, two media channels (Commercial TV and OOH) command the highest reach and time spent, followed by Functional Internet and Social Media.

OOH and Social Media are the two primary channels for 16-34s – and both share the similarity of being largely place-based media channels, with social media often consumed on mobile.

The report also notes how, despite the apparent meteoric rise of Netflix to 37% weekly reach of All Adults, the split between commercial and non-commercial curated media share of time has only changed by one percentage point since 2015 while the average time spent with all curated media per day has remained exactly the same at 8 hours and 27 minutes.

Sourced from IPA

This article first appeared in

Seeking to build and grow your brand using the force of consumer insight, strategic foresight, creative disruption and technology prowess? Talk to us at +9714 3867728 or mail: or visit

About Author

Comments are closed.