What effect does TV’s receding influence have on brands?

Survey data from Harris Interactive and networking firm Belkin show that millennials increasingly prefer their laptops and tablets over television.

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Want real proof of the generation gap? Consider the screens.

Two-thirds of Internet users 55 and older in the United States still say television is the main way they get news and other information, according to a survey from networking firm Belkin and Harris Interactive. Almost as many (56 percent) of the 45 to 54 age group say the same thing.

For younger folks, the 18 to 34 age group, TV (30 percent) is neck-and-neck with laptops (28 percent) in the race for attention. Smartphones are the primary device for 17 percent of younger respondents. For other age groups, smartphone preference didn’t exceed single digits.

Media consumption, at least among young adults, is growing more diffuse. There are more viable options. For brand marketers and communicators, that means they’re aiming at a moving target.

“The data is indicative of the end of mass media, at least from a marketing perspective,” says PR consultant Frank Strong. “Increasingly broad brushes are painting less.”

In light of the data, Strong and others’ advice for communicators and marketers is to be nimble and get social.

Shifting landscape

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