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Old August 11 2013, 05:01 AM   #1
bigdaddy
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When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

I understand that for some reason that the TV ratings now go by the 18-35 demo groups and that the Nielsen ratings don't even go over 65. But I don't understand when did this change?

It's not that I'm wondering why networks only care about young people, that's something stupid, but it's networks, they are stupid. I'm more wondering is when did this happen?

In the 80s and early 90s no one cared if young people were watching. The shows had older people, look at Madlock, Golden Girls, and Murder She Wrote. All popular, all old people. So when did this switch of shows with large audiences, like Boston Legal and Harry's Law, and Law and Order all get canceled because of low demos?
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Old August 11 2013, 05:18 AM   #2
R. Star
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

Probably when all those kids in the 80's and 90's grew up. They grew up watching tv, and are still watching tv. Before then kids used to like... play outside and stuff.
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Old August 11 2013, 05:53 AM   #3
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

No offense but it sounds like somebody's getting old(don't worry, I am too; we all are!). It comes as a shock and surprise but you wake one day and suddenly your opinions matter less(to others)than those of people born a few years after you.

It's ALWAYS been that way(you're just noticing it now because it sounds like it's starting to affect you)and, as always, it involves money.

It's nice once you get over and couldn't give a shit anymore. I just let Gen. Y and Gen. Stupid tinker away at their computers, making more wire-framed CGI entertainment and I piratebay it from them, for free. We all have our own unique ways of dealing.

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Old August 11 2013, 06:58 AM   #4
bigdaddy
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

I'm right in the middle of the 18-35 demo group, so suck it old man!!!

Just kinds of bug me that networks think they need a sex young female cop/doctor/lawyer who can't act because that's what some dumb asshole young people think they want. I rather watch Candice Bergen any day.

But I'm the last part of my generation, I didn't have a real computer that was useful until high school. I didn't have a cell phone until 2011, I don't use Tumblr, twitter or evern Facebook (Facebook I use to post pictures). I understand we are all fucked if my generation is supposed to save the world, we rather text while walking and walk into things instead of STOPPING!!!!!!!! and texting!!!!!! I can tell the difference between the 26+ year olds who didn't have all this tech, and the 22-24 year olds who did. It's scary.

But I'm a white male, males don't count in the demo right? We never buy anything.
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Old August 11 2013, 07:09 AM   #5
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
I can tell the difference between the 26+ year olds who didn't have all this tech, and the 22-24 year olds who did. It's scary.
That is the funny thing about being around this age. I'm 28, and there was a definite cultural cutoff point with the kids who were 4-5 years younger than me. My siblings are 24 and 25, and even they agree that I am in a different generation than they are. It's bizarre.

As for TV, though, I'm not sure what your point is. The way we watch TV has changed a lot since we were younger. I'm not even sure if/how teenagers watch TV these days. Do they DVR everything? Do they come home from school and turn on a specific show? When I was a teen, the first thing everybody did when they got home was turn on MTV and watch Total Request Live. It aired at just the perfect time for teens to catch it after school.

But honestly, the whole TV model has changed so much since the advent of DVR and services like Netflix. Once upon a time, I used to have a set schedule of TV shows that I watched throughout the week. Now I watch shows exclusively on Netflix. If it's not available on Netflix, I'll probably never see it.

We also had shows that were popular and that we kind of "grew up with." Shows like "Boy Meets World" were on the air forever, and those of us who were teens at the time literally got to grow up with those characters. More than that, at least in my household, we watched those shows with our families. My mom was just as concerned with Cory and Topanga as I was! I don't know if the same kind of shows exist today.
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Old August 11 2013, 12:58 PM   #6
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

Well they'll say it's in part down to disposable income. Many 35+ year olds will have a family, kids etc.. So have less disposable income. Not saying that's right or wrong simply the way advertisers/marketing people etc.. might percieve things.

Aside from that once you get to a certain age you've developed you're shopping habits. You buy the same brands so an advertiser has to work harder to get you to switch you're brand loyalty. Have you're last couple of mobile phones been Nokia, LG, Apple? Which brand will you look at first when it comes time to change the same brand that you are currently using?

When you go food shopping do you stick to the same brand i.e. Heinz, Coca Cola?

What about cars have you predominatly used Fords, VW's etc..?
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Old August 11 2013, 03:55 PM   #7
JirinPanthosa
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

What MacLeod said. People age 18-35 are the most likely to spend money on the basis of seeing a commercial.

I'm 30 and I agree about a generation shift just right around my age. According to Wikipedia 'Gen Y' starts at 1982, and I was born in 1983. I certainly notice that people a little older than me have a much stronger work ethic than people a little younger than me. The 'Adults living at home' wave seems to end at just a little younger than me. There's a marked discrepancy in young people's ability to handle disappointment.

I can't say I like shows oriented at older people more though. Shows like CSI, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives. Shows that focus on melodrama but have a 'tried and tested' episode structure they never deviate from and protagonists designed to offend as little as possible. Whereas shows oriented at my age tend to be more serialized and darker, and criticize culture more.
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Old August 11 2013, 04:04 PM   #8
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

Exactly. It's not about the importance of older people in society but about who will spend the most money. As the 18-35 group tends to spend a lot (although I be this went down with the recession) they are the ones advertisers pay the most attention to.
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Old August 11 2013, 04:58 PM   #9
bigdaddy
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

So networks are stupid.

Young people don't watch commercials, they know how to fast forward and download what they want. Old people don't because they can't figure out the remote or just don't want to bother.

And young people don't have disposable income, they are just starting in the workplace after, most likely, getting a useless degree in something. They have children, car loans and apartments, and health care and students loans, , all of which have to get paid off. Older than 65, their house is paid, they don't have kids, they don't need to spend money on dates and such, they have more money to spend. Plus they are more likely to watch TV live, and then more likely to actually see the commercials.
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Old August 11 2013, 07:57 PM   #10
Greg Cox
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
So networks are stupid.

Young people don't watch commercials, they know how to fast forward and download what they want. Old people don't because they can't figure out the remote or just don't want to bother.

And young people don't have disposable income, they are just starting in the workplace after, most likely, getting a useless degree in something. They have children, car loans and apartments, and health care and students loans, , all of which have to get paid off. Older than 65, their house is paid, they don't have kids, they don't need to spend money on dates and such, they have more money to spend. Plus they are more likely to watch TV live, and then more likely to actually see the commercials.
But, again, the idea is that older people are more set in their buying habits and aren't going to be around as long as younger customers anyway.

Look at it this way. You're selling a product. Do you want to attract young customers, who will hopefully keep buying your product for decades--or older people who aren't likely to switch brands anyway?

In theory, you want to hook your customers when they're young--and that's why the younger demographic is seen as more valuable.

Now, you can argue that the whole economic model of TV networks existing to sell commercials is on a collision course with changing technology, but that's a much bigger can of worms.

In the meantime, it's not "stupid" for advertisers to prefer younger audiences. And, inevitably, there comes a time when you realize that your own generation is not the center of the world anymore . . . .
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Old August 11 2013, 08:23 PM   #11
Peach Wookiee
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

About DVRs, my niece asks me to pause a live show and we don't have the capabilities at this house.
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Old August 11 2013, 09:31 PM   #12
bigdaddy
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

My point is younger people watching a TV show are not looking at the commercials, so no one is going to be seeing the products anyways.
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Old August 11 2013, 09:38 PM   #13
Greg Cox
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
My point is younger people watching a TV show are not looking at the commercials, so no one is going to be seeing the products anyways.
Well, that's a bigger issue than just targeting a specific age range. For better or for worse, mainstream American TV is still in the business of selling commercial time--and most advertisers aren't going to pay top dollar for older eyeballs.

How exactly you reach younger eyeballs is indeed a question to be grappled with, but giving up on younger viewers and programming for older folks instead is obviously not a long-term solution!
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Old August 11 2013, 09:51 PM   #14
RJDiogenes
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Whereas shows oriented at my age tend to be more serialized and darker, and criticize culture more.
Criticize culture more? That's interesting, because that's one of the things that made the pop culture of my generation so great-- the commentary and topicality. Star Trek, M*A*S*H, All In The Family, Room 222, Laugh-In and so on. I didn't think there were any shows on now that did that sort of thing; whenever the subject of "meaningful" stories comes up, most people are either ambivalent or hostile towards the idea. They get all excited about "dark and gritty," though.
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Old August 11 2013, 11:00 PM   #15
JirinPanthosa
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Re: When did young viewers start meaning more than old?

Younger people may not have a lot of money to spend, but they sure spend it anyway. They have these things called credit cards which they use as if it constitutes free money, and every one of them thinks they can't live without smart phones and expensive computers.

@RJD

Maybe it was different in the 70s but now TV shows tend to reside in this conservative version of liberalism where the characters are progressive but everybody chooses to live in a traditional family unit because any other way is just ridiculous. The only recent TV shows I can think of that try criticize culture are things like House and Battlestar Galactica, and maybe Parks & Rec, which are shows generally aimed at people in their 20s.
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