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These Are the Top Sources of Entertainment Young Europeans Turn To

What platforms are Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe using to watch video content most?


  • European Gen Z and Millennials are watching video content on Netflix more than any other source
  • But TikTok is a serious contender for the top place, and is Gen Z’s second most popular source of entertainment
  • Instagram is still a popular video content service for young Europeans

Gen Z and Millennials are video-first generations, and they have more options for entertainment than any gen before them. But knowing exactly which video services young Europeans use will help brands make the best decisions on how and where to reach these gens. YPulse’s biannual WE Media Consumption Report digs into how young Europeans consume video content, revealing key data points such as which screens they turn to, how many paid subscription services they use, and the type of video content they watch—just to name a few. We also asked 13-39-year-olds where they turn to watch video content weekly or more often.

Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe both like to use streaming services to watch video content, and Netflix is their top choice, but recently young Europeans are turning a lot more to short-video content for their entertainment. As a result, there are some noticeable differences in the way Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe watch video content:

chart showing the top media sources among Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe

Netflix is where young Europeans turn for their entertainment the most

With 69% of 13-39-year-old Europeans saying they turn to Netflix to watch video content weekly or more, Netflix is the top entertainment platform in Western Europe. In the WE Media Consumption Report, we explored their entertainment preferences and found that streaming very clearly beats out other viewing options among these gens. When asked to choose between cable and streaming, 67% say they prefer streaming; and when asked to choose between social media content and streaming service content, 60% prefer streaming. This gen loves their streaming entertainment, and Netflix is by far the streamer they prefer: when we ask “If you could only watch content on one of these platforms for the rest of the year, which would it be?” over a third say Netflix would be their choice, far, far more than any other source.

YPulse’s data also shows that many young Europeans’ favorite TV shows are Netflix productions. Netflix has a flair to find new ways to cater to young consumers’ interests, for example by producing original local content—remember the success of the French show Lupin?—and anime content. The popularity of Netflix among young Europeans is reflected in YPulse’s brand tracker data, too: measuring European Gen Z and Millennials’ opinions on brands week-to-week from over 800 brands, our brand tracker shows that Netflix is the No.3 top YScore+ out of all brands, among all five Western European countries.

TikTok is European Gen Z’s second entertainment service

More than three in five European Gen Z say they use TikTok to watch video content weekly or more, which makes it the second service they turn to the most, among all video content platforms. While the popularity of TikTok is particularly noticeable among European Gen Z, Millennials are increasingly turning to TikTok, too, and research from YPulse shows that half of the older gen say they use the platform.

TikTok was barely used just a few years ago in Western Europe, but it became an entertainment staple among young Europeans during the pandemic. And while there were speculations that these young consumers would watch less video content once life was back to normal, TikTok’s popularity kept on rising post-pandemic. Not only did the app become one of young Europeans’ most used social media platforms, but it also emerged as a major player in the entertainment industry. YPulse’s most recent trend report The TikTok Effect shows that the success of the app is influencing the type of content young consumers want to see on other platforms, as well as the future of online marketing.

Instagram is still (surprisingly) popular as a video viewing source among young Europeans, Gen Z included

Instagram is still popular among younger consumers in Western Europe, with 67% of young Europeans currently using the social media platform. The success of the Meta-owned platform has a lot to do with its short video content feature Reels, launched in August 2020 to counter the success of TikTok. Though Meta has been going through a phase of turmoil, Reels is becoming the company’s fastest-growing format.

But to keep up with the short video content competition, recent updates have pushed a more video-heavy, full-screen feed, that makes the Reels’ experience almost as identical to TikTok. As a result, Instagram had to face a backlash from users. This confirms one of YPulse’s main findings from The TikTok Effect Trend Report: young consumers are not buying into copycats. In fact, social media platforms like Instagram trying to duplicate every new feature from TikTok are not as attractive as the original short video platform, and 71% of young Europeans say they don’t like when social media platforms create new features that replicate other social media platforms.