No single description sufficiently captures the diversity of those who read newspapers and consume online news content.
Appetite for quality journalism exists among the youngest and oldest adults, but how they view society and behave as citizens and consumers varies dramatically.
In a series of four research articles, called Audience in Focus, the key behaviours, beliefs and aspirations of readers of all ages are put into the spotlight.
Audience in Focus provides a snapshot of demography by age, providing insight into how readers consume news media, their key social issues and aspirations for their own lives.
The data from the readership survey emma illustrates the high quality of individuals who come to news media seeking quality reporting, analysis and opinion of events at home and around the world.
Among the many factors to emerge is evidence that these readers – regardless of age – are better educated, more socially aware and higher earners than non-readers.
Here, we present the 55+ demographic.
CAPTURING THE MARKET
97% of consumers aged 55 and over read news media across print and digital platforms – an audience of 5.6m.
- 22% more likely read print newspapers than younger readers
Women make up a slightly higher proportion of the news media audience than men.
- Female: 52% /2.9m
- Male: 48%/ 2.7m
23% more likely to live in regional areas of Australia than other readers.
- 51% live in Australia’s five largest metro markets
- 33% live in other urban areas
- 16% live in regional Australia
This group is 30% more likely to have completed secondary school or attained a university degree than non-readers.
- 30% Tertiary
- 25% High School/Tech
- 45% Less than year 12
- 2% Currently studying
OUTLOOK ON LIFE: HEALTH
Staying fit and healthy are top priorities for older readers
- 86% taking steps to stay healthy
- 16% more likely than younger readers to say they try to make healthy nutritional choices
- 69% think the quality of health care services needs to be improved
OUTLOOK ON LIFE: POLITICAL
With the highest level of political engagement of all the reader segments, a safe and secure Australia is a top priority.
- 76% engaged in political events
- 29% more likely than other readers to think national security and defence services need to be improved
- 18% more likely to be concerned about crime levels where they live than the average Australian
OUTLOOK ON LIFE: ENVIRONMENT
A do-it-yourself approach to saving energy and caring for the environment.
- 10% more likely than other readers to believe saving energy is more about saving money than saving the environment.
- 2:3 believe they can make a difference to the environment
- 7% less likely than other readers to say government should take urgent action on climate change.
Increasingly tech-savvy over-50 readers are embracing social networking.
- 59% say they would feel ‘lost’ without the internet
- 46% visited a social site in the last week (25% increase in the last two years)
- 19% more likely to have used a social media app in the last month than non-readers
INTERNET USAGE & FAVOURITE DEVICES
- 10.7: average weekly hours spent online
- +12mins per week: increase in internet usage in the last 2 years
- 4:5 access the internet via computer
- 21% increase in readers using their smartphone to go online in the last year
OUTLOOK ON LIFE: MONEY
Making money is less of a priority than for younger readers. These readers are confident about their financial position and prize time to enjoy their efforts.
- 12% less likely than younger readers to think money is the best measure of success
- 1:2 believe free time is more important than money
- 12% more likely to feel confident about their financial future than the average Australian
SPENDING POWER & EMPLOYMENT
- 14% more likely to be working than non-readers
- Retired: 54%
- Working full-time: 19%
- Part-time: 12%
- Not working: 15%
- 356,000 are seeking work (including those already working)
CONSUMER HABITS: RETAIL
Readers are considerably more likely than non-readers to be in the top 20 per cent of spenders across key categories:
Top retail categories
(% more likely to be among the 20% of spenders)
- Travel insurance: 65% more likely
- Holidays and airfares: 55% more likely
- Garden and hardware: 38% more likely
- Homewares and furnishings: 32% more likely
- Whitegoods: 13% more likely
CONSUMER HABITS: TRAVEL
- 4.5m plan to take a holiday in the next year
- 1:3 are planning an overseas trip
- +22%: more likely to prefer package tours than non-readers
- 1:3 prefer to take multiple short breaks rather than long annual holidays each year
- 14% less likely to book their own travel rather than going through a travel agent
CONSUMER HABITS: AUTO
- 547,000 plan to buy a car in the next year
- 13% more likely to be in the car market than non-readers
- Average budget: New: $39k Used: $19k
- 15% more likely to say money is no concern when buying a car than average Australian.
- Top key consideration factors:
- 79%: price
- 75%: a long warranty
- 74%: safety
- 51%: style
- 46%: space & flexible seating options
Source: emma™ conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, People 14+ for the 12 months ending August 2016; Nielsen DRM August 2016, People 14+ only. Nielsen Online Ratings, August 201, people 14+ only (mobile audience profiling only).