"It's the biggest revolution since the digital disc": New ERA research reveals five ages of entertainment preference

New consumer panel-based research from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has today (December 6) revealed the scale of the generation gap in the way Britons consume entertainment.

According to an official press release, ERA’s research shows five distinct ages of entertainment preference. The data comes from ERA’s authoritative consumer tracking study which quizzed a panel of 2,000 UK consumers about their entertainment consumption habits every quarter for the past six years.

For under-25s, the smartphone and laptop are the dominant ways to consume music and video, with more than eight out of 10 of that age range reporting they had listened to music via a smartphone in the previous three months and over three quarters having watched video on computer.

In contrast, an official press release stated that for those in the over-55 category, neither laptop nor smartphone appear among their top entertainment technologies with traditional radio (whether in-car, via DAB or even AM/FM) taking three of the Top Five slots.

Speaking about the results, ERA CEO Kim Bayley said: “The entertainment business is in the midst of the biggest revolution it has faced since the advent of the digital disc. This survey confirms that there is a marked difference in the speed of adoption of new technologies by different generations.”

You can read a breakdown of the results below:

The Under-25s

The under-25’s are the most enthusiastic adopters of smartphone and streaming technologies with nearly 85% of them using smartphones to access music. Music and video top their interests.

 25-34 Year Olds

Interests broaden in the late 20’s and early 30’s although there’s a 20 point difference with the under 25’s in the degree of engagement with the most popular technologies. Smartphones top the rankings for 24-34 year olds.

35-44 Year Olds

The 35-44 year olds score in-car radio as their most used entertainment technology just ahead of the TV set-top box. Smartphones, used for music or games are next most popular, followed by the first Top Five appearance of DAB radio.

45-54 Year Olds

More 45-54s have used a TV set-top box in the past three months than they have used any other entertainment device. Four out of the Top Five positions are taken by music technologies.

The Over 55’s

In-car radio scores highest for the over-55’s, while DAB is also favoured and even traditional AM/FM radio scores a Top Five placing.


Last month, according to ERA-commissioned research by consultants OC&C, it was claimed that streaming could be worth £1.6 billion by 2023.



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