I sat on a webinar the other day and when it ended the first thought that crossed my mind was, they’re not talking to me. Their demographics in the study capped at 55-years of age. Really? No one over 55 matters to radio or to radio advertisers?
Then I read this World Economic Forum article that was headlined, “For the first time ever there are more people over 65 than under 5.” Think about that for a moment. Economists point out there’s widespread consequences for productivity, inflation and global growth by this demographics shift, to which I would add, consider the impact on ad supported media.
65+ People are Renters
While millennials are buying homes – if they aren’t weighed down with student loan debt and minimum wage level jobs – seniors are becoming renters. People 65+ are empty nesters and find they simply don’t need a McMansion and all the work/expense that goes into living in one. I know that’s certainly been the case for me when I sold my home in 2003. I have been a renter since. Renting is much more economical than owning.
Market Watch reports that Americans will find they will need to spend nearly $9,400 in “hidden costs” to own and care for a median-priced home, based on the latest analysis from Zillow.
Millennials Abandon Brick & Mortar Stores
Tethered to their smartphones and comfortable with buying online, those millennials aren’t necessarily the best customers for their advertisers that radio might have thought.
Millennials are the largest generation in American history, and their shopping habits are worlds away from those of their parents. Thanks to the rapid pace of digitalization and new shopper-friendly tools, like browser extensions and voice assistants, retailers must be ready to embrace significant change.
PR Newswire, March 19, 2019
Only 18-months ago, research indicated that millennials were still going to brick & mortar stores, but that’s changed dramatically, and in a very short time. You can download the full report HERE.
$164.55 a Day
Jessica Dickler reporting on CNBC writes, “Between housing, food, cellphone bills and other expenses, Americans shell out $164.55, on average, in a given day.” Punching that number into my calculator, I quickly saw that’s over $60,000/year, but averages are funny things and you can be sure ‘your mileage may vary.’
Putting that number aside for a moment, we find that the bulk of that money is spent on housing. That fabled ‘American Dream’ can be a boat anchor on the pocketbook.
While seniors are moving from being home owners to renters, you might be surprised to learn how similar the senior household expenses are to the average household according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Source: Advertising Age’s American Demographics, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure survey. (1) Includes social security contribution (excludes health insurance, which is classified as health-care expense).
Not all that different, is it.
And far from that other analysis of the average adult spending over $60,000 a year. So why aren’t more radio companies focusing at least one of their radio signals on seniors?
All my life, the focus was on planning for and saving for retirement. I’d like to say I did everything right, but the reality is far from that.
The great wealth destroyers are divorce, moving and changing jobs.
In my personal life, I’ve gone through two divorces. As the radio industry was dramatically changed by the Telcom Act of 1996, I would spend a decade moving around the country about every two years. That communications act also found me changing companies with just about every move too.
The final chapter of my working life, as a university professor of broadcasting, gave me seven years of stability and an opportunity to save as much as I could for retirement.
Now I’m retired. The goal is no longer to save for retirement, but to spend in retirement. My wife and I are in good health and taking zero medications, which affords us the opportunity to spend on our new found passion of traveling. Spoiling the grandkids, eating out, and redecorating are also high on our list of things to do. I’m sure we’re not alone.
The irony is, the radio media seem to ignore us. And they do so at their peril.
We’re retired, not dead.