Home Analysis What to show Millennials and Generation Z if you want more engagement

What to show Millennials and Generation Z if you want more engagement

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The 18-25 Generation Z and 26 -35 Millennials age groups pose interesting challenges for content providers. The Grabyo Global Video Trends Report 2019, which surveyed nearly 10,000 people across all ages and incomes from France, the USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia in March 2019, throws up thought-provoking data on their viewing habits, including those relating to social video.

Social video across the generations

YouTube is where the vast majority of social video is consumed across the board. Viewers are most interested in watching social videos to discover new products and services, and this is followed by TV shows and movie clips and entertaining videos. Viewing preference for live streaming on social media is fragmented. News scored highest, with 13.8% of respondents wanting to watch it. Thirteen per cent wanted sports, 11.9% wanted TV shows and reality TV, and 9.4% listed game and quiz shows as a preference.

Paid content

In Generation Z, 63% of respondents paid for online video platforms such as Amazon Prime; 37% subscribed to satellite and Pay TV, 25% paid for premium YouTube and other online subscriptions, and 15% were not paying for anything. Half of Generation Z are not thinking of cutting the cord, but 8% already have. Eleven per cent are thinking about cutting the cord this year, while 16% are thinking about cord-cutting within three years and 15% within five years.

Content influencers

When Generation Z consider which videos to watch, their priority is price. The quality of video and content came second and third respectively. If video content is available in the latest HD formats across devices, Generation Z show a willingness to pay for it. Recommendations from friends and social networks influence around 25% of Generation Z when it comes to viewing decisions.

Popular genres

47% of Generation Z watch sport, while entertainment comes second with 33%, followed by TV series and clips with 28%. Celebrity video was least popular, attracting only 6%.

When it comes to what Gen Z would like to see more of on social video, movie and TV clips and music videos are most desired. ‘How-to’ videos and behind-the-scenes clips are the next most wanted, indicating a demand for content that supplements what is on offer on other platforms.

Popular platforms

YouTube is the most popular platform for Generation Z. Instagram is used the second most often, followed by Snapchat. The video sharing app TikTok is gaining in popularity too. Entertaining videos attract 27% of this segment to social video, while 21% use it to discover new products or services and 18% to preview TV shows and movies. Fourteen per cent of Generation Z want to catch up on news, and the remaining 10% use social video for sports.

Influence of social ads

Clothing and apparel and online media services, such as Netflix, are bought or investigated by 42% of Generation Z after seeing social ads. Thirty-six per cent investigate or buy food and beverages, and 34% are driven towards health and beauty products after seeing social ads, the Grabyo Global Video Trends Report 2019 revealed.

Incentives for more live social video

When asked what would encourage them to watch more live social video, 36% of Generation Z said more availability of appealing content or more choice would achieve this, while 32% said more original content would be the driver. Thirty per cent cited better quality content as the reason they would increase consumption. Content that supplements TV programming was mentioned by 23%  and 22% said more live event coverage.

Live and reality shows are the social videos that Gen Z would most like to see, followed by content linked to a TV show, sport and news. Behind-the-scenes content and live Q&As with celebrities, sports people and actors scored highly, too. A lack of appealing content, poor quality streams, networks causing latency and buffering, and data restrictions were the main reasons stopping this group of consumers from watching more live social video.


Millennials are more likely to cut the cord than Generation Z and a greater content range from online sources will encourage them to do so. Price, content quality and video quality are the key influencers behind their choices.

Sports, entertainment and TV series/clips are their most watched genres and they are most likely to watch these on YouTube. Unlike Generation Z, they remain loyal to Facebook. Snapchat and TikTok have high penetration with this group, too.

Eighty per cent of Millennials have investigated or bought something after seeing a relatedsocial video. The survey says: “Millennials are highly receptive to learning about new clothes, health, beauty, food and beverage products. Social media is satisfying the shopping habits of millennials, who are spending more time online and less browsing in physical stores.”

The Grabyo Global Video Trends Report 2019 also reveals the habits among older consumers, covering 36-49s and over 50s, and breaks the data into regional overviews, too.

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