As the number of baby boomers who offically become "seniors" grows exponentially over the next years, we will see more and more companies targeting this still highly active group.
They are currently the fastest-growing and wealthiest segment of the population, and were least hurt by the recession. According to data from the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey, adults over the age of 50 spent $2.7 trillion on consumer goods in 2010. Everyone from pharmecetucal companies to insurance carriers to retirement communities see the opportunity with the senior class.
Television is also a high-value area for the post 18-49 set. So it is no surprise that a cable network has arisen to provide programming for the AARP crowd. Let's face it--older folks have a lot of disposible income, and spend a lot of time watching television.
RLTV is a cable channel specifically targeting seniors, and has hired talent with whom this audience can relate. Seventy-seven year old Sam Donaldson and Florence Henderson will each have their own shows, as well youngsters like Joan Lunden, 61, and Deborah Norville, 53.
Programming such as "Making Medicare Work for You," will find a place on RLTV, as well as reality shows like "Another Chance for Romance" and "Sunset Daze," which the Los Angeles Times calls a "Jersey Shore" for adventurous senior citizens in Surprise, Arizona. Another reality show "Family Pickle" takes a look inside New York City’s world renowned Carnegie Deli, home to "the wildest cast of characters you’ll ever meet."
"Advertisers are waking up to the fact that the 50-plus population is an audience they have to pay attention to," said Kevin Donnellan, an executive vice president with the AARP, and a producer of two magazine shows for RLTV. "We're no longer living in that era where people arethinking about their father's Oldsmobile."
RLTV was launched in 2006 and was originally called Retirement Living TV (the founder made his money building retirement communities) but recently changed to Redefine Life--a broader message to match this broad audience group.
RLTV does not boast of its distribution deals as of yet, but as cable distributors and other media outlets realize the extreme value of the senior community and its impact as part of the viewer demographic, they're bound to pick up speed.