A streaming service designed exclusively for older adults
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Did you know older adults spend more time watching TV than any other age group?1 With older viewers making up so much of the market, why aren't there more TV shows and movies tailored to their preferences? The founders of Saltbox TV sought to answer that question, and it sparked the creation of the first-ever streaming service designed specifically for seniors.
Saltbox TV is completely free, doesn't require an account to use, and can be accessed from any internet-enabled device. Older adults can enjoy TV and movies, educational videos, health and wellness content, and original Saltbox programming you can't find anywhere else — all from Saltbox TV's easy-to-use website.
Read on to learn more about Saltbox TV and my experience trying this service designed just for older adults!
If you're not a fan of complicated technology and confusing interfaces, Saltbox TV is the perfect streaming service for you. Specifically engineered for older adults, Saltbox TV is a breeze to use. Plus, it's absolutely free! However, if you're a pro with new tech or you want more content at your disposal, there are plenty of other options out there. Be sure to check out our top-rated TV providers to learn more.
When the world shut down in 2020, senior living communities entered strict quarantines. Live entertainment and activities were halted and replaced by virtual programming. At the time, Patty Carver, a writer and entertainer, had been performing one-woman musicals in senior living facilities across the country for over two decades. She and her husband, Grammy- and Tony-nominated Broadway producer Jerry Goehring, realized there was a lack of virtual content designed just for seniors. No one was asking older adults — a population often overlooked in the media — what they wanted. Patty and Jerry got to work developing Saltbox TV, the very first streaming service for seniors. Saltbox TV is now available on any internet-enabled device for free, and it's also featured in around 5,000 senior living communities nationwide.
Fun Fact: The Saltbox TV website was designed with insights from gerontologists and occupational therapists to ensure the platform is easy to use and suited for older users.
The service is full of fan-favorite shows and movies, educational and wellness content, and Saltbox originals. Goehring, the CEO and co-founder, puts it this way: “Our goal is to make this a one-stop shop for not only older adults, but also the people in their lives who support them. This is more than just a place to come and watch old TV shows and movies; this is a place to learn, grow, and engage.”
Saltbox TV offers a variety of content, from classic movies and TV shows to senior workout videos and cooking shows. You'll find content about music, religion, aging, and educational topics, along with original Saltbox programs.
Did You Know: If you live in a senior living community, your facility may have Saltbox TV available on iN2L devices, so ask the staff. If not, then you can still access the streaming service on your computer, phone, or tablet.
While perusing the platform, I found some of my old favorites: “The Lucy Show,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” and “The Little Shop of Horrors” (even though it terrified me as a kid!). I also came across newer shows such as “Pasta Grannies,” in which the cutest Italian grandmas I'd ever seen taught me how to make different types of handmade pasta. There are several workout videos for seniors who want to stay active, such as “Chair Yoga With Kristin” and “Senior Fitness With Meredith.”
Saltbox TV strives to combat ageism and provide a platform for older adults and artists to step into the spotlight through Saltbox original content. This is one of my favorite things about the streaming service, since older adults are often underserved and underrepresented in the media despite being a vital part of our communities.
Pro Tip: Want a senior-friendly tablet or phone to watch Saltbox TV on? Visit our list of the best cell phones for older adults and the best senior-friendly smartphones.
With Goehring's background in Broadway production, Saltbox TV is producing both scripted and unscripted original content that features older adults and addresses topics relevant to their lives and experiences. I watched “Tammy Talks,” a Saltbox original TV show, where ageism activist Tammy Marshall sits down with older adults to talk about their experiences with ageism and how we can create change. “Silver Stars” is another original that's currently in the works, featuring the late Ed Asner. The show will focus on talent show contestants who are all ages 65 and older.
Saltbox TV is very easy and intuitive to use, even if you're not very familiar with tech. I'll walk you through the steps below.
There is no limit to how many shows or movies you can watch, so grab some popcorn and settle in!
FYI: Saltbox TV is currently developing a mobile app for Apple and Android products, along with smart TVs.
Saltbox TV is completely free. There is no subscription or monthly fee required. You may be wondering what the catch is. The answer is: There isn't one! We appreciate all the ways Saltbox TV considers the needs of older adults, including their budgets. People living on Social Security or fixed incomes won't have to worry about adding one more monthly bill.
So how does this compare to other streaming services? The majority of streaming services come with a monthly fee. Netflix, one of the most popular streaming services, starts at $9.99 per month, with prices increasing if you want to watch on multiple screens at once. Hulu, another major streaming platform, starts at $6.99 per month for an ad-supported plan or $12.99 per month for an ad-free plan.
Quick Tip: You'll need a reliable internet connection to use Saltbox TV. Check out our list of the best internet providers for some of our top picks.
Saltbox TV can save you over $100 per year compared to other streaming platforms (and you won't ever have to worry about price hikes). But remember: Saltbox TV's library is fairly limited compared to paid streaming services. You won't get access to all the latest shows and movies, and you'll have to sit through some advertisements. Still, the service is completely free and tailored to seniors, so it's worth perusing — and there's no risk! We expect Saltbox TV's library to continue expanding since it regularly adds new content.
As the first streaming service designed for older adults, Saltbox TV puts seniors and their wants first. I appreciate that the service is free and doesn't require any subscriptions, logins, or personal information to use. The website is simple, making it accessible to older adults who aren't as comfortable with technology. I also love the ways Saltbox TV strives to combat ageism, with original content featuring seniors and the topics that matter to them. Saltbox TV's library is fairly small, but I'm excited to see how this new service continues to grow in the months and years to come.
Statista. (2020). The Generation Gap in TV Consumption.