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Older web users: Online content, ads aimed at young

Most internet users age 45 or older say content online serves less their needs and interests than those of younger persons, according to a Burst Media survey on the availability of age appropriate online content, website design and targeted advertising, writes MarketingCharts. Still, 67.7 percent of all respondents say their daily routine would be disrupted if their online access was taken away for one week (42.9 percent say "significantly") - with "the oldest segment looking very much like the youngest segment," according to Burst. Some 43.9 percent of those age 55+ surveyed say there would be significant disruption in their lives if internet access were taken away. Additional findings issued by Burst are outlined below. Though most (52.0 percent)of the more than 13,000 adult online users surveyed in February said internet content is focused on their age group, there was significant variation in the responses of various age segments:
  • Some 76.0 percent and 73.9 percent of the 18-24 year and 25-34 year segments, respectively, say online content is aimed at their age groups.
  • Most (55.7 percent) of those age 35-44 also say so.
  • However, just 35.4 percent of those age 45-54 year say internet content is focused on people their age. The proportions of those 55 or older saying so are significantly less.
Website design elicits similar opinions:
  • 75.9 percent of those age 18-34 years say websites are designed for them.
  • 55.2 percent of those age 35-45 say so.
  • 36.9 percent of those age 45-54 say so.
  • Only 19.9 percent of those 55 or older say websites are designed for people their age.
Online advertising is apparently also missing the mark overall - but also particularly in the case of older users:
  • Just 38.6 percent of respondents overall say online advertising is focused on their age group.
  • Only respondents in the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups tend to say online advertising is focused on them: 56.6 percent and 56.5 percent say so, respectively.
  • Some 43.8 percent of those age 35-44 say online advertising focuses on people their age; 52.9 percent of them say it targets younger people - as do 72.5 percent of those age 45-54 and 83.2 percent of those 55+.
In search of more and new content: Most respondents (59.6 percent) say they are typically visiting more websites than a year ago - and that's the trend for all age groups, including nearly 63 percent of those 55 or older. Nearly half of those surveyed (48.9 percent) cite local/national news as their favorite content, but content popularity varies by age group:
  • Age 18-34: Entertainment info (44.7 percent); local/national news (40.1 percent); online games (38.1 percent); shopping/product info (36.1 percent); info for work (35.0 percent); social networks, forums and blogs (31.4 percent).
  • Age 35-54: Local/national news (54.2 percent), shopping/product info (44.8 percent), info for work (42.7 percent), health info (37.1 percent), entertainment info (37.0 percent), travel info (33.7 percent).
  • Age 55+: Local/national news (55.9 percent), shopping/product info (44.0 percent), health info (42.5 percent), international news (38.9 percent), travel info (38.2 percent), food information/recipes (34.1 percent).

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