Media headlines and marketing campaigns have given the Millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1996) attention for years, but more recently, there’s also been increased focus on the next youngest generation, Generation Z, which is made up of anyone born in 1997 and onwards.

And while both of these demographic subsets are considered the “younger generations”, there are many key differences between Gen Z and Millennials, which is particularly evident in the content that they consume. For example, Millennials are known for cutting the cord – in other words, ditching cable for online streaming services – but Gen Z was never connected to the cord to begin with. Instead, Gen Z users are attracted to social platforms, including YouTube, and newcomer TikTok, which has lead to completely different viewing behaviors and content interests, evolving media consumption trends which are important to note.

So what is Gen Z watching – and what does that mean for your marketing efforts?

Here’s a look at some of the big video content trends taking hold among younger audiences.


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YouTube

Since YouTube has been a thing for basically all of their life (YouTube was founded in 2005), Gen Z has widely adopted the platform into their media consumption process, and it’s their top preferred platform for consuming video content.

In fact, 85% of teens now consume content on YouTube, while the average time kids spend watching online videos has doubled in the last four years.

That shift away from traditional TV – and towards the shorter clip-style presentation of YouTube – has lead to a whole new approach to video content, while it’s also seen the rise of ‘vloggers’, an entirely new category of celebrity.

Indeed, according to a study published last year, children are now 3x as likely to want to be a YouTube star, as opposed to an astronaut, the past standard for aspiration. Here’s a basic overview of what Gen Z is watching on the video platform.

Vlogging 

Video blogging – or ‘vlogging’ – has risen to prominence on YouTube, and continues to show signs of growth and popularity. Online personalities typically upload low-budget and highly personal videos of themselves, through which they connect with their audience. Many vloggers have now built massiv careers out of their vlogging hobby – the highest-paid vlogger in 2019, Ryan Kaji, earned a whopping $26 million.

From a brand perspective, it’s important to note the role that vloggers are increasingly playing. Given their popularity, in future, traditional TV advertising may not be your best bet for outreach and brand awareness, while endorsements by influencers are now also considered to be more trustworthy and authentic than those from celebrities and sports stars. This is a key trend to note.

Informative videos

But it’s not just entertainment that makes YouTube a hit with younger users – according to research, 80% of Gen Z teens say that the platform has helped them become more knowledgeable about something, while 68% say that YouTube has helped them improve or gain skills that will better prepare them for the future.

YouTube education

YouTube has become a valuable, and trusted, learning resource. In fact, most students now prefer YouTube videos over textbooks, and many search for videos for DIY projects and how-tos.

The trend underlines the expanding use of the platform, which has various implications for how you can utilize videos to better connect with younger audiences.


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