by Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times, Sept. 6, 2023
Silicon Valley isn’t just consumed by youth; often, it’s blinded…
After all, older people are the future of business: According to a recent analysis by AARP, people over 50 now account for more than half of the world’s consumer spending, and their share is projected to grow to 60 percent by 2050…
The tech industry’s hostility to aging “continues to violate common sense,” Joseph Coughlin, the director of M.I.T.’s AgeLab, told me. His lab conducts research on how an aging population is changing business. He said that companies in the auto industry, financial services, retail and other sectors are coming around to the emerging opportunities of the “longevity economy,” the 1.6 billion people around the world who will be 65 or older by the year 2050…
Yet the trillion-dollar tech industry that imagines itself inventing the future is stuck in the past, its views of older customers, older employees and how to best serve them hopelessly misaligned with facts, business logic and demographic destiny. “The market is aging. The market is numerous. The market has got more money than the people they have been building products for,” Coughlin said. “And yet they continue to ignore them.”…[end quote]
The rest of the article has many examples of the ways tech could potentially improve the lives of seniors while making huge profits.
The article doesn’t mention the media but the same applies. Movies and TV are aimed at youth markets. One series that DH and I enjoyed, “Longmire,” was cancelled because ratings showed that the main audience was over 50 while the network wanted to attract the age 15 - 35 demographic.
It simply doesn’t make sense, from a business standpoint, to ignore a large market niche with huge spending power.
Another example is the garment industry. The main clothing designers and retailers largely ignore the 40% of obese Americans. How does that make sense?
Back to the media…
I subscribe to Netflix and Amazon Prime. I am so bored by American programming which is so shallow and repetitive. I have been watching Korean programs almost exclusively due to their high-quality scripts, character development and acting. I especially like the format of the series with a story that has a clear beginning, middle and end. These are typically 12 - 20 hour long episodes and the stories can be quite complex.
Of course, there are a lot of silly Korean romance programs but there are also some with adult themes. (By “adult,” I mean appealing to intelligent, mature people. These programs avoid any hint of sexual activity on screen.) I prefer to watch in Korean with subtitles since the Korean spoken language has interesting inflections that aren’t caught by dubbed readers.
“Jejoongwon,” the true story of the first hospital of Western medicine in Korea. The series covers from 1895 (when Korea was still a traditional society) to 1910 (when the Japanese took over Korea).
“Shark,” an award-winning story of revenge with its roots in the painful history of the partition between North and South Korea. A mystery full of twists and surprises.
" Through the Darkness," the true story of the establishment of Korea’s first crime profiler.
“Navillera,” a heartwarming story of a 70 year old retired postman who fulfills his lifelong dream of learning ballet.
“Damo,” a fictional police procedural set in Korea’s medieval period.