April 22, 2021
Deloitte’s 2021 Digital Media Trends survey revealed the entertainment tastes of Generation Z, those aged 14 to 24 years old. About 26 percent named video games as their No. 1 entertainment activity, and 87 percent in the age bracket said they play video games daily or weekly. Second most popular entertainment activity is music, at 14 percent, following by surfing the Internet (12 percent) and social media (11 percent). In fifth place, 10 percent of Gen Z said watching TV or movies was their favorite entertainment.
Variety reports that, in comparison, 39 percent of baby boomers, 29 percent of Gen Xers and 18 percent of millennials named television and movie viewing as their top entertainment activity. Deloitte vice chair and U.S. technology, media and telecom leader Kevin Westcott noted that, “if you’re a traditional media company, you’re going to have to offer a broader range of entertainment than just movies and TV shows.”
The current popularity of video games, to some degree, has been driven by COVID-19, with a “solid majority” of Gen Z, millennials and Gen X surveyed saying video games “helped them stay connected to other people and get through difficult times” and 46 percent saying it “reduced time spent with other forms of entertainment.”
The survey also found that, “U.S. consumers on average have access to four paid video streaming services; 82 percent subscribe to at least one paid streaming video service.” The churn rate rose, from 20 percent pre-pandemic to about 37 percent between October 2020 and February 2021, with price increase cited as the No. 1 reason for cancellation.
Fifty-five percent watch free ad-supported video services, and 60 percent would accept “some ads for a reduction in monthly subscription costs.” Whereas 58 percent of boomers prefer news on network or cable TV, “half of Gen Z consumers rank social media as the No. 1 way they prefer to get news.”
Los Angeles Times reports that the Deloitte study, based on “a February online survey of more than 2,000 consumers,” clearly showed that Gen Z consumers do not place a priority on movies or TV. At Deloitte, vice chair and U.S telecom, media and entertainment leader Jana Arbanas noted that, “if these trends stick, it could mean that video will become less important to consumers.”
“Gen Z would much rather spend time gaming, listening to music or using social media,” she said. “That was a really stark contrast that we saw relative to the shift that’s happening and how Gen Z will impact this industry sector longer term.” Westcott added that, “millennials took the behaviors they developed as teenagers, and they’ve taken them forward into their early 30s, and so if Gen Z is anything like that, their behaviors may change slightly, but I don’t see a complete aging out of their behaviors.”