The Demographic Divide: A Special Report

Illustration of a large group of
Illustration: VIP+: Adobe Stock

The media divide between generations is growing. First documented by Variety Intelligence Platform in 2021, the second version of our “Demographic Divide” special report takes an even wider lens at the key differences in media and entertainment that continue to evolve between younger and older Americans. 

Partnering once more with consumer insights specialist GetWizer, VIP+ surveyed over 1,700 U.S. consumers, splitting the sample across four age groups: 15-29, 30-44, 45-59 and 60 and older. The reasoning behind this was to group consumers not by arbitrarily defined “generations,” such as Millennials or Generation Z, but by broad lifestyle stage, with the added benefit of 15-29s neatly equating to digital natives, 30-44s digital originalists and 45+ growing up only with linear entertainment. 

The report takes a deep dive into how each demographic group consumes media and entertainment, focusing particularly on the long-term implications any behavioral shifts may have on the strategies necessary for traditional media to continue competing in an ever-shifting landscape. Key topics covered:

  • Exploring the different entertainment formats competing for consumers
  • Brands the age demos consider most entertaining
  • Perceptions of TV, streaming, movies and music
  • Social media’s role in entertainment — and its perceived negative impacts on society
  • Social media’s influence on news distribution
  • Whether Big Tech is too powerful — and Meta, Google, Amazon and Apple should be split up
  • Sentiments on news for each age group and which news formats muster the most interest
  • Awareness of cryptocurrencies and NFTs — and the risk of investing in them — the impact of “crypto winter” and the outlook for Web3

The results of our expansive study highlight the fact that the world of entertainment is becoming increasingly fragmented. This is problematic for those who retain a traditional one-size-fits-all approach for content and treat what they consider as emerging platforms — but are, in reality, established — as sources primarily for clips and not full distribution.

It allows for a new entertainment world to emerge, with time running out for those ignoring it to devise strategies to maintain relevancy. 

Read on to learn about:


Key attitudinal differences between younger and older U.S. audiences


The increasing need to gear content to consumers on their own terms


The digital divide as an overarching concept in media and entertainment