“TV” doesn’t mean what it once did. So what do young consumers even consider watching TV these days—and how do they prefer to do it?
We often call Gen Z and Millennials the Post-TV Gens–not because they’re ditching TV content, in fact, they can’t get enough of it, but because they’re growing up in a time that the definition of “TV” has completely shifted from what it once was. And as the early adopters of new TV, if you will, they’re the ones fueling the changes from traditional to new media. Even the phrase “TV show” doesn’t mean what it once did. Quartz recently asked the question, “Should we keep calling it TV if no one’s watching it on a TV set?” Since most of what we call “TV” is technically viewed via the internet, executives and creators both are re-thinking their vernacular. What words are winning out in the etymological war? Well, linguists think outdated words (like TV) will stick around for a while (we still say, “dialing a phone,” don’t we?) along with words that are generic enough to hold their meaning, like “shows” and “series.” But the Post-TV Gen’s concept of what these words mean may be more broad than those following more traditional definitions.
Traditional metrics are also playing catch up in a post-TV world. According to AdAge, Nielsen says they finally have a way to measure Netflix viewership—but Netflix says they’re way off base. Nielsen claims they can keep track of all viewing on the platform, including originals, “whether or not a studio or network wants them to.” Netflix claims, “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.” Ouch.
With all the confusion around preferences and terminology, brands can understandably get lost. So what do young consumers even consider watching…