The way Millennials and Gen Z — the first generation of digital natives — engage with digital content.
The way millennials and Gen Z – the first generation of digital natives – engage with digital content is markedly different from the habits of Gen X and Boomers. As the past year forced practically the entire world population into an isolated, physically distanced way of life, new patterns in the way these younger generations keep themselves entertained are beginning to emerge.
Different studies carried out in the area establish the growing prominence of the immersive nature of the mobile video. For instance, new research by Snap, Inc., Omnicom Media Group, and Alter Agents found that not only has the medium for watching videos changed generation but also new patterns are emerging in when, why and where these groups engage with digital content.
Likewise, another study carried on by the National Research Group reiterates that mobile devices are not getting the lion’s share of media and screen time. Yet another study by Whistle Wise points out that not only are younger viewers exploring lesser-known streaming platforms but also rely on their phones and social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram for their daily dose of entertainment.
Watch: How Gen Z and Millennials consume information
Let’s dkode some of the key findings for a clearer understanding of the widening generation gap in media consumption habits and what it may mean for the future of the entertainment industry:
A Spike in Video Consumption
The video consumption of both millennials and Gen Z has increased across applications. Among them, 61 percent are watching more videos on social media apps. 56 percent watch on streaming platforms and 51 percent on streaming apps on their mobile devices. Both groups also recorded a substantial increase in their overall video consumption of mobile devices. Millennials at 51 percent and Gen Z at 67 percent.
Commenting on this surge, Omnicom Media Group North America’s managing director of primary research Pamela Marsh has said that these trends can disrupt the six-decade-old ‘medium is the message’ paradigm.
For these young consumers, the ‘medium is the moment’.Pamela Marsh, managing director of primary research, Omnicom Media Group
Time Spent on Mobile Apps
Both generations still spend 12 hours a week streaming videos on their TVs. However, they also spend 8 hours each per week streaming videos on a smartphone and social media apps. This is in addition to 7 hours streaming videos on a computer and 6 on a tablet. Facebook continues to lead the way time spent on the app watching videos, accounting for 76 percent of the consumption. The social media giant is followed by Snapchat at 69 percent and Instagram at 65 percent.
How Immersive is the Experience?
The Immersion Index Score that measures the attention and emotional engagement with the content for different platforms was:
- Snapchat: 71 percent for ads and 68 percent for the overall content
- Instagram: 63 percent for ads and 71 percent for the overall content
- Facebook: 62 percent for ads and 63 percent for the overall content
Based on these statistics, the total immersion index is 50 percent for ads and 45 percent for overall content. According to the respondents who took part in the study, the motivation for engaging with content on different platforms varies too.
TikTok is seen as a tool for lifting mood, Instagram for inspiration, YouTube for discovering new hobbies or learning new skills and platforms like Facebook for entertainment. They also claimed to deeply engage with the content across platforms, without being averse to ads.
The Pandemic Effect
Those polled also agree that the coronavirus pandemic has driven up their video consumption habits on mobile devices. These users interact with different apps at different times of the day. They sometimes juggle between two or three platforms in close succession. Irrespective of their video consumption, when or why they engage with these platforms throughout the day, both millennials and Gen Z prefer to check at their preferred social media apps at least once before sleeping.You will find more infographics at Statista
Whether these trends will reverse or continue to grow once the world reopens fully remains to be seen. Until then, these findings do throw some interesting insights that can help content creators and promoters to fine-tune their offering to add more value to the end-user.