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Seniors Missing Out on Spain's Digital Advances

Internet penetration is climbing steadily, but younger people benefit most

February 22, 2017 | Media

Spain’s current media landscape is the product of several familiar trends: While print media, radio and even television have struggled—sometimes in vain—to maintain their audiences, the internet continues to expand its reach.

According to a February 2017 report issued by the Asociación para la Investigación de Medios de Comunicación (AIMC) – Spain, internet penetration rose more than 5 percentage points in the country between 2015 and 2016. Last year, 71.9% of residents ages 14 and older went online daily, equivalent to 28.6 million people.

Media Penetration in Spain, Nov 2016 (% of population)

Spain shows other signs of a relatively mature digital culture. Internet penetration rates are fairly even between males and females, for example. And in every socioeconomic bracket except the very lowest, at least 56% of residents use the web regularly. Among the most affluent—those earning more than €3,005 ($3,324) per month—daily internet penetration surpasses that of TV.

Media Consumption of Affluent Consumers in Spain, Nov 2016 (% of population in each group)

On the other hand, there’s still a sharp disparity between certain age groups when it comes to online access. The vast majority of teens and younger adults are already on board—over 90% of residents ages 14 to 34 used the internet on a typical day in 2016, according to AIMC. Usage declined in older cohorts, but nearly two-thirds of residents ages 55 to 64 were also online daily. Yet for seniors 65 and older, the story was very different: Only 31.8% used the internet each day.

Of course, few seniors feel the need to go online every day, or even several times a week. Many get news, information and entertainment from other media. But for Spain’s digital marketers, it’s worth remembering that even in 2017, large numbers of older people remain beyond the reach of online campaigns.

—Karin von Abrams

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