AARP partnered with Google/Ipsos MediaCT to produce a study on the online activities of the 50+ demographic of Boomers and seniors. Although seniors are thought to be more resistant to embracing and adapting to new technology than younger demographics, the results of this study show otherwise.

The study found that watching online videos is an important activity for the demographic, and these videos make a significant influence in spurring them to action. In fact, 75 percent of Boomers and 68 percent of seniors take some form of action after watching a video, such as:

• visiting a retailer/store (57 percent)
• calling a business, store or organization (37 percent)
• searching online for more information (35 percent)
• forwarding a link or video to someone (41 percent)

Most of these videos are viewed on YouTube, the favorite video site of 84 percent of Boomers and 71 percent of seniors. Based on this report, magazines looking to target this audience may find that the use of video as a digital tool can prove to be successful.

The 50+ demographic is also increasingly purchasing mobile devices to stay connected to online content. For Boomers, 41 percent use a smartphone and 20 percent a tablet, while 16 percent of seniors use a smartphone and 14 percent a tablet, nearly doubling from last year. Lower use of a tablet compared to a smartphone seems counterintuitive, and it is an important statistic that magazines should consider when creating mobile versions and apps.

The study reported that Boomers and seniors highly value the Internet as a source of information. 84 percent and 77 percent, respectively, view it as the number one source of a variety of content—including weather, news, shopping and information about health and wellness. The Internet is also used to stay connected on social media, with 97 percent of Boomers and seniors ranking Facebook as their most used social networking site.