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OPINION: Gen Z – leading the future of digital entertainment (By Paolo Rizzardin)
Paolo Rizzardini, Mondia Digital (www.Mondia.com) - CEO
Gen Z, the first digitally native generation, comprise a third of the global population and represent over a quarter of consumers globally. They are the largest generation alive today, and the way they consume entertainment is driving dramatic changes in the media and content creation environment.
Traditional forms of entertainment such as television and movies are no longer the dominant force they once were. Instead, this generation is turning to the internet and social media for their entertainment needs.
There are a number of reasons for this shift. First and foremost, Gen Z has grown up with the internet and social media. Gen Z was the first generation with ubiquitous access to the internet and portable computing devices from a young age. They are comfortable using these platforms and have come to expect a constant stream of new and interesting content.
Another reason for the shift is that traditional forms of entertainment are becoming increasingly expensive. Prices for cable TV and cinema tickets have been on the rise, while streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are becoming more popular.
Gen Z’s preferences are driving innovation and tech markets: Trifecta Research (www.Trifectaresearch.com) reported that Gen Z is expected to influence over $200 billion worth of sales a year in the US. This shift has led to the rise of new platforms and content creators who are catering to the Gen Z audience.
They’re the smartphone generation, but open to new tech
Gen Z is a mobile, online generation – the first with no memory of a pre-smartphone world. Smartphone penetration is almost complete. 89% (https://bit.ly/3ESKVeh) use their smartphones every day, and the majority are constantly connected. 78% (https://bit.ly/3AGKjG2) consider their mobile device their most important method of access.
They started using phones earlier in life (https://bit.ly/3Xk8m7s), and they’re far more engaged in mobile apps than any other generation.
69% (https://bit.ly/3goQEPO) still watch television daily, but for only half the time they spend watching Netflix and YouTube. Gen Z are also open to new interface technology; according to Basis (https://bit.ly/3EX1PIM) research, 3 in 10 US Gen Zs reported owning or intending to own a VR headset, and there are more Gen Z smart wearable users (21 million) than in Gen X.
They like short-form, online video
Ofcom’s 2022 Media Nations report (https://bit.ly/3EUe1Kq) disclosed that 65% of Gen Zs watch short-form videos every day (as opposed to just one-third of adults). Gen Z watch videos uploaded by the general public more often than those from family, friends or influencers.
Platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat have become incredibly popular, offering a wide variety of content that can be consumed at any time and from anywhere. YouTube has become a go-to source of entertainment for Gen Z, with 84% (https://bit.ly/3XqpQz9) visiting the site at least once a day and 70% (https://bit.ly/3Ox9ReL) watching more than two hours a day. They spend even more hours watching TikTok – an average of 10.5 (https://bit.ly/3Vl3Jbr) a week.
Gen Z consume a vast array of video content, from vlogs and challenges to gaming and music videos, while how-to videos are a notable favorite, reflecting an eagerness to learn. Gen Z are generally concerned about social and environmental issues, and are connected and engaged with the world. According to Deloitte (https://bit.ly/3OuVNCa), around 80% of Gen Z consume news and current events daily. More than half get their news and current events from social media feeds and messaging services, and only 30% from dedicated news websites.
They stream their audio
According to Ofcom (https://bit.ly/3tSCPfg), half of total listening time (47%) was spent on online music via a streaming service, double the proportion of five years ago. Spotify and Pandora lead (Gen Z listened to 578 billion minutes (https://bit.ly/3OKP2g1) of music on Spotify in a single quarter in 2022), with Apple Music, Amazon Music and others following.
Gen Z are increasingly connected to creators on audio platforms, and happy to join online communities in support of them. The creator-fan relationship is becoming more reciprocal, with fans connecting on social media. Gen Z actively seek out new creators as a way of expressing their individuality, according to Wired (https://bit.ly/3UZMxZi) magazine.
Broadcast radio continues to decline against streaming services, and only a fifth of audio consumption is of mp3s and CDs. But podcasts are popular and getting more so: 61% (https://bit.ly/3Xrjsrr) of Gen Z listen to them at least once a month, and podcast ads are increasingly affecting buying behaviors.
They are social gamers
Gaming has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment for Gen Z, with 87% (https://bit.ly/3V94uoA) playing video games at least weekly, and a third (https://bit.ly/3Xr2Z6A) preferring gaming to other activities. This generation is more likely to play video games than any other age group, attracted by the level of interactivity and engagement
Gaming is seen as a social activity that builds community, connections with others and a form of self-expression, and are comfortable with paying for digital assets, which suggests that the Metaverse might evolve from existing gaming platforms.
Gen Z demand continues to drive the rise of mobile gaming and the increasing sophistication of mobile games, as well as live-streaming platforms such as Twitch. The gaming industry, largely driven by Gen Z, is valued at roughly $200 billion in the US alone.
They’re serious about connection
Gen Z are sometimes known as the “sensible generation” – they’re serious, well-informed, and concerned about the world. Their constant connection and mobile access is driving them to build communities focused on shared values, interests and goals. Activities that were once thought of as solitary – watching videos, playing games – are now predominantly social activities.
This demand for online connection will continue to drive innovation in the way that content platforms provide unique, compelling and engaging environments for this generation to thrive in.
Gen Z are increasingly directing digital entertainment forward and this means that the media and content creation environment has to continual adjust to these changing needs or risk being thrust into obscurity and ultimately extinction.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Mondia.
23.11.2022 CET/CEST Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by EQS News - a service of EQS Group AG.
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1495077 23.11.2022 CET/CEST