A YouTuber Tops the List of People Gen Z & Millennials Trust for News

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Who is the individual that young consumers trust to inform them about current events? In a plague of fake news, they’re turning to some new sources…

Three quarters of 18-36-year-olds and three in five 13-17-year-olds say that fake news is one of the biggest problems in society today. They also feel surrounded by it. Recently, The Atlantic reported that teens are turning to “flop accounts” on Instagram for news, over traditional outlets. Flop accounts call out foul play (fails, or flops) in Hollywood, on YouTube, and increasingly, in politics. As concern over fake news rises, one 17-year-old explains that “it’s a lot of people completing these things together, not just one person, which makes us trust it more.” A “strong distrust of news media” is fueling the trend.

When we asked young consumers, "In general, how confident are you that your news sources give you accurate information," 45% said somewhat confident, and 34% said very/extremely confident. Though they see fake news as a huge problem, they still believe that the news sources they're personally turning to are, for the most part, reporting accurately. But those sources could include flop accounts, online publications, people in their social circles, late night hosts, and more. At this point, news doesn’t have to come from behind a desk in a newsroom to be considered trustworthy. In our recent monthly survey on news consumption and trust, we asked young consumers all about the news sources they trust—including “Who is the individual you trust most to inform you about current events? (e.g. anchors, TV hosts, journalists, YouTube creators)”* Their top answers indicate that a shift in news consumption is well underway:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of individuals that…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

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