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Wealthy Americans Withdraw from Broadcast TV


eMarketer reports that affluent American's relationship with traditional media is in a state of transition, according to data released by The Affluence Collaborative. Moreover, among the younger members of the population, the current status is more negative than positive.

On the one hand, affluent internet users are still using print media. More than 20 percent of those with incomes of at least $500,000 spent 11 or more hours per week reading newspapers. This compared with just 6 percent of the general population. Affluents with incomes between $200,000 to $500,000 landed in between, at 9.1 percent.

Affluent's consumption of magazines also outstrips that of the general population. According to the same survey, 22 percent of affluent internet users earning $500,000 or more read magazines for 11 or more hours per week, contrasted with 4.5 percent of the general population.

Only 11.5 percent of those affluents rarely or never read magazines, while more than 30 percent of the general population said the same. As above, affluents with incomes of $200,000 to $500,000 fell in between the two extremes.

However, broadcast television has clearly lost its appeal. Affluents show a much lower consumption pattern than the general population. Nearly 40 percent of the general population watched 21 or more hours per week of television in February 2011, compared with 21.5 percent of the highest-income respondents.

More than 40 percent of affluents in both groups watch 10 or fewer hours of television a week, compared with 26.5 percent of the general population.

According to April 2011 data from the Luxury Institute, high-net-worth millennials (ages 35 and under) are replacing both television and print with digital media faster than their older financial peers.

Their combined average weekly time spent with online video (1 hour 40 minutes) and DVR (3 hours 47 minutes) was greater than the 4 hours 49 minutes spent watching live TV. Watching online video (78%) was more popular among wealthy millennials than reading magazines (76%) or newspapers (68%).

"This is clearly a tipping point," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "The rising generation of wealthy consumers are consuming media in vastly different ways than anyone did just a decade ago."

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