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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Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

Which brands had the most YouTube subscribers in 2018? In media, Warner Bros. topped the list with 6.4 million subscribers, followed by BBC and ESPN. Apple beat out last year’s winner for tech PlayStation, while Red Bull and Ford remained the reigning champs of food and beverage and automotive, respectively. Finally, Nike was first place in the clothing category for the second year running, with 30,000 more subscribers than their closest competitor, Adidas. (Tubefilter)

A “Little League for esports” is fostering future esports stars—and fans for life. Super League Gaming is bringing some much-needed organization to youth competitive gaming, building teams of young Minecraft, League of Legends, and Clash Royal players, helping them train and compete. But the program isn’t just for the next Ninja; just like traditional sports, kids get a sense of community among like-minded friends. (AP News)

Nielsen reports that Millennials actually consume less media than older demos, but more of it is digital. While the average adult consumes over ten hours of content a day, 18-34-year-olds spend less than eight hours with media. And the heaviest smartphone users are 35-49-year-olds, who spend 20 minutes more each day on average with their phones than Millennials. However, the younger demo does spend 44% of their media time with digital devices, more than older demos that spend more time with TV as they age up. (THR)

Vitaminwater is wagering $100,000 that you can’t give up your smartphone for a year. Contestants have to disconnect from internet-enabled devices where “texting is a pleasant experience” for 365 days and post a pic to Twitter or Instagram explaining why they need the digital detox. And when the year’s up, they have to prove it. Considering that 65% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they would be unable to unplug from their smartphones for a week, earning that $100,000 may be harder than they know. (Fortune)

Hard seltzer revenue skyrocketed over 400% over the past 18 months. White Claw leads the way for the category with top-of-the-results organic search (they’re the number one Google result for “hard seltzer”) and a social media presence that focuses on health and wellness-related imagery. Sparkling water is already one of Millennials’ favorite things to drink, and its hard version could rise through the ranks of their top alcoholic beverages. (Gartner)

Quote of the Day: “People call [video game culture] nerdy but I see nerdy as a positive connotation.”—Female, 28, MA

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