Media Consumption by Generations

From The Visual Capitalist (Click left link for full-size chart)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes, a chart or graph is worth a thousand pictures.

Above is a fascinating chart showing media consumption during the Coronavirus.

With everyone locked inside, this time offers one of the best “labs” for looking at media consumption.

Here, media consumption is compared between various American generations.

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An important distinction is not made between political groups but rather generational groups on broad types of media. Political distinctions would show differences in content of media within these broad groups. For example, baby boomers would watch particular types of shows in – say – Broadcast TV while millennials watch other types of shows in Broadcast TV. However, millennials watch far less Broadcast TV than boomers do, preferring Online Videos instead.

The Boomer Generation Views Different Types of Media Than Millennials 

With the decline of American equality (created largely by mass media consumption from the 1920s – 1970s) and rise of diversity (created largely by digital, segmented media from the 1980s to present), finding niche media communities of media consumption becomes easier. At the same time, finding common media communities become more and more difficult.

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Fingers are pointed at various reasons for the increasing division in American society. There are the “usual suspects” for this division such as income inequality and race relations and increases in domestic populations such as Latinos, Middle Easterners and Chinese. Yet, behind these “usual suspects” of American division is the fact that different groups are consuming different media that allows for the creation and perpetuation of divergent perspectives.

In other words, the great “elephant in the room” today causing division and diversity in American culture is not really media content as much as media type, not the messages within particular media but rather the mediums of these media. And, the grandest divisions of mediums of communication are within generations rather than groups within generations.


See the amazing site The Visual Capitalist for a “visual” view of the pandemic and other aspects of our world.

See another post from Midnight Oil – The Virus Contains Its Own Medicine – using another one of the great charts from The Visual Capitalist.




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