More 18-34 year olds in the US watch YouTube than any other cable network, fueling the billion hours of content watched on the platform every day. It’s no surprise that noted cord-cutters like Millennials and Gen Z prefer YouTube to more traditional viewing options, but it is a surprise to see the latest generation to step up to the search bar: Baby Boomers.
Born between the 1940s and 1960s, Baby Boomers have witnessed TV’s spectacular rise and its gradual diminuendo in recent years. They might not have a reputation as the most tech-savvy generation, but as Think with Google found out through interviews and surveys, that isn’t stopping Baby Boomers from exploring and embracing YouTube wholeheartedly.
A Fit for Any Schedule
Even when their content is on demand, traditional cable networks and streaming services alike typically offer content in the form of 30- to 60-minute stretches. The same rules don’t apply on YouTube, where there’s something to watch whether you have 20 seconds or 20 minutes. That makes the platform attractive to Baby Boomers who might want to unwind with some videos but don’t have a half-hour or more to dedicate to their screen.
“With YouTube, I’m not locked into hourlong blocks like I am with most commercial programming,” Vera, 63, told Think with Google. “If I have 10 minutes, I can find something to watch.”
In the Loop
68% of Baby Boomers watch YouTube to be entertained. Missed last night’s episode of your favorite late night show or the news? Not a problem—highlights, recaps, or even full episodes are available on YouTube so you can catch up. That helps explain why entertainment, music, and news were some of Baby Boomers’ top video categories.
Class Is in Session
Millions of users visit YouTube to learn something, whether in a how-to video or product review, and Baby Boomers are no different. In fact, Boomers prefer watching instructional videos on YouTube than reading instructions by a factor of 1.3; furthermore, one-in-three Boomers use YouTube to research products or services. For many Baby Boomers, turning to YouTube for new information or knowledge allows them to feel more independent than previous generations who needed to rely on their children to learn about technology.