These 3 Charts Show How Gen Z & Millennials’ Media Viewing Is Not The Same

Sep 02 2020

Gen Z and Millennials are not watching content exactly the same way, and our latest media consumption monitor shows the biggest differences in where they’re getting their entertainment…

YPulse’s new media consumption report found that quarantines have been reshaping young consumers’ entertainment behaviors, and the impacts could be long-lasting. Nearly two in five tell us that they will want to keep spending more time watching entertainment at home, even after the threat of Coronavirus has passed.

But while at-home media is booming, the at-home consumption habits of Gen Z and Millennials are not the same. When we look at where and how they’re watching content, as well as what kind of content they’re watching right now, the differences between these generations is clear.

While the top platforms Gen Z and Millennials are using to watch content weekly are the same, Gen Z is far more likely to be watching content on social platforms regularly. Well, on most social platforms at least:

Netflix and YouTube rule media viewing for both of these generations, outpacing other entertainment sources by a significant amount. But Gen Z is far more likely to watch YouTube than Millennials (they’ve watched it their whole lives after all, something we explored in depth in our Growing Up YouTube trend). Gen Z is far also more likely than Millennials to use social media as entertainment, with over half watching content weekly or more on Instagram, and nearly half watching content weekly or more on TikTok. (The latter has swiftly also outpaced Snapchat as an entertainment source for the younger gen, by the way.) The only social media platform they’re not more likely to be watching content on is Facebook; where Millennials are still spending time but Gen Z has clearly left behind.

But it’s not just the platforms they’re watching content on that’s different. Not surprisingly the kind of content that they’re watching is also not exactly the same:

Considering the fact that Gen Z is watching more content on social platforms, it makes sense that they are also more likely than Millennials to report watching social media videos in the last week. This social media video consumption has been intensified by COVID. In fact, 66% of Gen Z say they have been watching more videos on social media because of quarantines.

We also see related differences in the devices they’re using to access their entertainment:

Gen Z is more likely than Millennials to be watching content on their smartphones weekly or more, while Millennials are more likely to be using tablets. Gen Z’s use of smartphones to watch video content weekly has actually increased, up to 76% today from 67% in August 2019. This is, after all, where they’re accessing the social platforms that they’re increasingly turning to for entertainment content. But the bump is especially significant considering the time we’re in. There were many who believed that during quarantines young consumers’ actually wouldn’t watch as much content on their phones, as they were stuck at home with more regular access to bigger screens. But our data shows that isn’t the case for Gen Z or Millennials, who are watching tons of content on their mobile screens even when they’re at home.