- The Washington Times - Friday, February 15, 2008

New reports on population projections by the Pew Research Center this week noted that the American populace is going to be a lot grayer in the future. Thanks largely to retiring baby boomers, according to Pew researchers, the nation’s population of seniors — aged 65 and over — will more than double in size to 81 million by 2050. Needless to say, the prospect has huge implications for the future state of entertainment media.

Music — The boomers, already noted for their purchasing power, have hinted that their tastes in music are becoming more mellow than they were in the star-spangled, freaked-out Woodstock era. This can mean only one thing: Josh Groban is going to take over the world.

Movies— Through the years, we’ve had a “Cocoon” here and a “Driving Miss Daisy” there. We can expect this genre — “Movies for old people who like movies” — to explode. Let a thousand “Bucket Lists” bloom.

Television— The sitcom format is gradually expiring, which means we will be spared reiterations of “Golden Girls” and “Empty Nest.” What we will conceivably be treated to are reality shows like “Survivor: Hilton Head Island” and “Fear-of-Dying Factor.”

Venues— Assuming that today’s consumers will still want to attend live concerts and stage plays and see movies in theaters — but, really, who knows how advanced the home-entertainment craze will be in 2050? — it seems to us that concert halls and movie exhibitors are going to have to invest a lot more in wheelchair accessibility and accommodations for the hearing-impaired.

Electronic devices — Unless laser vision correction becomes as cheap as drugstore bifocals are today, BlackBerrys, video games and personal computers are going to have to make their graphics and keyboards a lot easier on the eyes — sort of like jumbo playing cards.


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