The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, July 21, 2003

DEATH OF THE 18-49 DEMO?
Funny. Just a couple of days after noting the possibilities inherent in extended lifespans, a media study is released that suggests the long-prized 18 to 49 demographic audience is not as valuable as is assumed. Instead, a new sweet spot of 25 to 54 year-olds is said to be more lucrative, in potential and, based on what advertisers are already buying, in fact.

I believe I participated in this survey. It's hard to remember, as I get asked to participate in a lot of them, both at work and at home. But I believe I got an advanced confirmation of the study's completion yesterday, and an invitation at a sneak peek. I declined, since I was in the middle of something else.

Note that the study's results are being promoted by CBS, who's audience skews older than average; naturally, the Tiffany Network would love for this to be true. So there's the grain of salt.

Still, when you consider that the average lifespan is getting longer (even discounting that earlier report, people are living incrementally longer), it makes sense that the earning and spending power is moving up a few years. The 18-49 grouping has been around for, what, 30 years? I'd say it's time for a revision. It might as well be 25-54. In fact, lots of ratings analysts already use it alongside the 18-49 grouping; I've never understood why, other than because some media outlets' numbers look better using one or the other.

Plus, let's face it, we're all getting older. It's nice to know that I won't be lumped in with the senior-citizen set for an additional five years!