Friday, December 04, 2009

Motorola Survey Reveals Shift in Media Consumption Habits Across Generations

Connectivity and access to personal content transcends generations in North America

Download Motorola’s Media Engagement Barometer: Fast Facts (PDF)

Source: Motorola Media Center

HORSHAM, Pa. – December 3, 2009 – The 2009 Media Engagement Barometer commissioned by Motorola’s Home & Networks Mobility business (NYSE: MOT) has revealed a shift in consumer influence that hasn’t been widely recognized yet: Age no longer dictates a consumer’s willingness or ability to use media technology or services. In fact, all generations – Millennials (75 percent), Gen Xers (74 percent) and Boomers (66 percent) – recognize the role entertainment technologies play in helping them keep their lives in order, which helps explain why Millennials (80 percent), Gen Xers (78 percent) and Boomers (78 percent) are equally likely to desire to be constantly connected.

With all generations now immersed in entertainment technologies, we must look beyond age to predict influences.
  • Connectivity is more of a lifestyle issue. Being accessible at all times is seen as a necessity across generations (Millennials, 79 percent; Gen Xers, 64 percent; Boomers, 65 percent).
  • There is a two-way dialogue between consumers of all ages as they engage with technology products and share their experiences. The majority of Americans report influencing the decisions of their children (75 percent), friends (74 percent), colleagues (67 percent) and parents (58 percent).
  • Parents, grandparents and children alike are actively engaged in the tech sphere of influence. Gen X and Boomer parents reveal that they are influencing their children’s tech habits (Gen Xers, 87 percent and Boomers, 79 percent) even more than their Gen X (62 percent) and Millennial (76 percent) children influence their habits.
“In understanding the shift in media consumption habits, Motorola is able to develop products and services that will enable our customers to accelerate the delivery of personal media experiences,” said Dan Moloney, president of Motorola’s Home & Networks Mobility business. “The barometer findings have demonstrated how networking technologies have had a really powerful impact in integrating the different facets of people’s lives, and the “digital generation divide” that we perceived to dictate technology is now shifting toward a usage-based definition.”

The purpose of the study was to explore how different generations engage through technology products and services with family, friends and colleagues. Interviewers questioned a survey sample of 1,000 Americans ranging from 16-64 years old. However, as technological innovations continue to progress, people’s lives can no longer be so easily segmented. Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers come together through technology, forming bonds based on usage habits rather than age group.

“Service providers and technology companies are starting to deliver video, communications and information services more aggressively across multiple devices. However, if the key to success for these new services is consumer acceptance, adoption and loyalty, then it’s critical we understand the consumer influence model – which has obviously shifted – and then also shift our development and marketing strategies to align with consumer influences and habits,” said Eduardo Conrado, chief marketing officer for Motorola’s Broadband Mobility Solutions businesses.

Connectivity Is a Necessity
The ability to connect wherever you are has become an essential component of daily life. In fact, seven in 10 Americans (70 percent) feel it’s “important for me to always be accessible,” and nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) feel they are constantly connected with family, friends and colleagues, regardless of physical location.

This level of access gives Americans the freedom to better prioritize and blend different aspects of their lives. Rather than feel stifled by their constant availability, Americans admit that being connected makes them feel relaxed and confident.

Demand for Content Anytime, Anywhere
In spite of their everyday use of technology, 70 percent of those surveyed are still excited by the ability to live a connected lifestyle and, regardless of where they are, have become reliant on the ability to access and share content, including video images, anytime, anywhere. Sixty-six percent of Americans expect to be able to access the same content no matter where they are.

Universal Need for Customization
In addition, Americans need an effective way to cut through the clutter and learn about customizable solutions that meet their needs, as many are frustrated and overwhelmed by current levels of information. That’s why Americans of all ages, not just Millennials, now recognize the value in making their content and experiences personal. The desire to customize individual experiences extends from media consumption to social networking to watching and interacting with their televisions.

As of today, the majority of Americans (57 percent) across all generations have received a customized recommendation from a program based on their individual tastes, and roughly half of those have received a customized suggestion have acted on it (44 percent).

Sphere of Influence
Traditionally, Millennials have been touted as the “tech generation” and viewed as the primary influencers on their parents’ technology purchases and behaviors. Motorola’s 2008 study among Millennials revealed that 71 percent of Millennials have influence over parental decisions about cable, DSL or dish-satellite services (SOURCE: “Motorola Home and Networks Mobility Millennial White Paper,” 2008).

However, as evidenced in the Media Engagement Barometer findings, parents are influencing their children’s tech decisions as often as – if not more than – their children are influencing them. That’s why it is time to reevaluate our understanding of the sphere of influence. Regardless of age, consumers are turning to cross-generation tech influencers who are defined by their media consumption habits.

For more information on Motorola’s 2009 Media Engagement Barometer, please visit

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About Motorola’s Media Engagement Barometer
Motorola’s Media Engagement Barometer was created to explore the shifts in media consumption – functionally and emotionally – across all generations. It was designed to help Motorola understand consumers’ everyday behaviors and social experiences wherever they are to gain insights into emerging social trends and future desires for engaging with others and accessing content through entertainment and home networking devices and services.

A 15-minute telephone survey was conducted among a census representative sample of 1,000 Americans age 16-64. Interviews were conducted between August 28, 2009 and September 11, 2009. The margin of sampling error at the 95 percent level of confidence is ±3.1 for total respondents (1,000). The research was conducted by StrategyOne, an applied research consulting firm. For more information, please visit

About Motorola
Motorola is known around the world for innovation in communications and is focused on advancing the way the world connects. From broadband communications infrastructure, enterprise mobility and public safety solutions to high-definition video and mobile devices, Motorola is leading the next wave of innovations that enable people, enterprises and governments to be more connected and more mobile. Motorola (NYSE: MOT) had sales of US $30.1 billion in 2008. For more information, please visit
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