January 28, 2021

VAB's Audience Migration in Context: Leveraging Population Shifts to Unlock $4 Trillion in Buying Power, highlights a significant disconnect between the realities of population dynamics with how advertisers are buying their TV schedules. The findings are the result of an extensive analysis of population trends, TV viewership data and consumer expenditures.

    There is a significant disconnect between changes in the population and the way advertisers buy TV

  •    The Adult 50+ population has doubled in size over the last 40 years and now comprises 36% of the total population. As a result, the median age of the linear TV viewer has increased by 30% during that same time period to a median age of 39. The combination of an aging population and cord cutting means that 61% of TV ad impressions are delivered against adults 55+ yet many advertisers are holding on to legacy buying demos of 18-49 or 25-54, ignoring a significant number of consumers.

    Over the next decade, multicultural audiences will account for 78% of the total adult 50+ growth

  •     By 2030, 10 million more multicultural people will have aged into the adult 50+ population. As a result, they are projected to comprise 32% of the total Adults 50+ population.

     Adults 55+ account for 41% of annual total U.S. expenditures

  •     Adults 55+ collectively spend more on consumer goods & services than any other demographic segment. In 2019, they represented 41% of total U.S. expenditures, as compared with 15% from adults 25-34 or 20% from adults 35-44. They collectively spent $208 billion in vehicle purchases, representing 36% of category spend. Collectively, they spend $259 billion on food at home, representing 42% of category spend. Yet 77% of 50-somethings say they feel largely ignored by advertisers.

    Getting beyond the demo – the success of an audience-first approach

  •     Data-centric, outcomes-obsessed Direct-to-Consumer brands have adopted a buying strategy that targets by behaviors vs. demographics and adults 50+ have been flocking to these brands. During April – September 2020, the website traffic of adults 50+ to Warby Parker, Carvanna and Wayfair increased by 35%, 89%, and 30%, respectively.

Danielle DeLauro, executive vice president, VAB: "Audience Migration in Context is an eye-opening look at the significant revenue opportunity not realized by brands who are limiting themselves by purchasing TV based on traditional age and sex demographics. These findings underscore how important it is for brands to adopt an audience-first buying approach so that they can reach all potential customers and maximize outcomes."

VAB utilized data from third-party measurement services such as Nielsen, along with publicly available data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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