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How Demographics and Technology Impact Viewing Habits

Just prior to becoming a parent, I read an article in the New York Times on how electronic devices redefine family quality time. It described a family of four retreating to their living room after dinner. Dad watched an NCAA game on his laptop while mom caught up on fashion news on her iPad. Their 10-year-old daughter played on her iPad Touch; her brother played a Wii game on the TV.

What stuck me about this article is the appeal various technologies have to different generations, and how that leads to vastly different consumption patterns. Baby Boomers tend to watch TV live (i.e. "traditional") and via a DVR services. Ditto the 35 to 55 set, although many prefer to catch their favorite shows via an OTT service. Younger generations are cord-cutters. My 3-year-old son prefers the iPad to TV.

Despite what many believe, all of these screens haven't obliterated family time, they simply changed our behavior when we want to do our own thing. Rather than retreat to our rooms, we can do our own thing together. What's more, all these screens give advertisers ample opportunity to target families with ads for...

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