01 September 2008

US Neilson Ratings find older viewers dominate

For years I have railed against the FTV owned AusTam Rating system as flawed and unworkable. A report by Nielsons Ratings in the US may be addressing one of the points I see as making AusTam unworkable.

The entertainment industry's leading news reporter Variety has posted an online report that mentions among other things, age demographic TV watchers,

"According to Nielsen's 2008-09 national universe estimates, the 55-plus age bracket is by far the fastest-growing TV audience demo -- accelerating at twice the rate of the overall TV audience.

The ratings company estimates that 71.4 million TV viewers are over age 55, up 2.7% from last year. In comparison, total viewers over the age of 2 number 290 million, up 1.3% from last year.

The 55-plus group also far outpaces younger demos. The number of adults 18-34 watching TV next year will increase 1.5% to 68.2 million. And the 18-49 demo will see only a 0.7% increase (to 119.1 million). Teens 12-17 (40.8 million) will grow by 1.2%.

The growing population of older auds could mean a greater disconnect between total viewers figures and young adult numbers. In other words, shows targeted at aging boomer folk may post boffo total audience ratings but limp in the demos that advertisers care about. Read more at Variety >>

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