Gen Z and Millennials: Video Content and Generational Differences

Millennials and Gen Zers represent a powerful driving force in the marketplace today. Both of these generations are heavily influenced by and accustomed to technology. In fact, Millennials and Gen Zers have grown up in a world where technological advances occur almost daily. However, these generations differ in their interaction with and consumption of one of the most popular forms of technology, media. Indeed, media consumption has been largely affected by generational nuances. These unique, generation-specific interactions with media then provide brands invaluable insight into the technological consumption trends of both Millennials and Gen Zers.

Preferred Video Content Platforms
One such generational difference in media consumption occurs in the preferred medium for video content streaming. Millennials prefer using such video streaming services as Netflix and Hulu, while Gen Zers would rather use their mobile devices for viewing video content. Since Gen Zers are a mobile-dominated generation, their preference for viewing video content on their mobile devices is not surprising, but it does hold very important implications for brands.

Brands hoping to engage Gen Zers should strategize how to best capitalize on Gen Zers’ mobile-only preference. One way that brands can accomplish this is by focusing on improving their mobile apps and content for Gen Z viewers. Brands should also prioritize utilizing mobile-friendly ads for their youth audiences.

Overall Preferred Video Content
Not only do Millennials and Gen Zers differ in the mediums on which they view video content, but they also differ in the actual video content that they watch. Perhaps indicative of the need for a break, however small, from the struggles of everyday life, the most popular video content for weekly viewing among both Millennials and Gen Zers is comedy. According to a YPulse survey, 58% of Gen Zers and 59% of Millennials claimed to watch comedy video content weekly across such platforms as movies, TV shows, and series on streaming services. The second most popular genre of video content for both generations was music and music videos.

Despite the initial similarity among Millennials and Gen Zers in their top preferences for video content, these generations differ in their subsequent ranking of video content genres. For Millennials, such genres as drama, food/cooking videos, and news shows are quite popular. In contrast, for younger Gen Zers, cartoons and how-to/tutorial videos ranked highly.

Preferred Television Video Content
When questioned about which television content Millennials and Gen Zers watch weekly, the results were quite similar to the poll conducted about overall video content preferences. Again, both generations reported that the genre of television they watch the most per week is comedy, with 44% of Gen Zers and 49% of Millennials claiming this genre as their go-to television video content.

Similarly to the survey about general video content, the majority of Millennials seemed to prefer watching television shows dealing with drama, reality television, or the news. In contrast, most Gen Zers reported that they prefer to watch cartoon or sci-fi/fantasy television programs weekly.

Preferred Short-Form Video Content
But what about video content besides television shows? For Millennials who were asked about what kind of short-form video content they watch weekly, they reported that their favorite genre was comedy. Millennials continue their trend of watching comedy videos the most, even in short-form.

For Gen Zers, they reported that their top category for short-form video content was vloggers and online personalities. No doubt affected by the large influx of influencers on social media platforms, young Gen Zers use these videos to stay current on the lives and trends of these influencers. Gen Zers also reported that they prefer to watch comedy and music videos in addition to how-to/tutorial video content weekly.

Brand Implications
The fact that Millennials and Gen Zers enjoy comedy video content the most is perhaps indicative of the fact that people in general feel burdened by the pervasive problems in society. Whether from political divides, social struggles, or economic uncertainties, now more than ever people are experiencing the weight of external stressors on their lives.

Brands seeking to engage both Millennials and Gen Zers should focus on capitalizing on this desire for a respite from daily struggles. Ensuring user-friendly content, offering innovative, problem-solving products, and promoting positive brand messaging will make brands seem much more appealing to Millennials and Gen Zers. Additionally, staying current with societal changes and anticipating the resulting generation-specific needs are perhaps the best ways to ensure long-term brand success.

YPulse Survey: