Social Viewing: 5 Apps Making Watching Videos a Group Activity

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

Can watching content online be a social experience? These five apps are working on it, and turning solo viewing into a party…

When we researched the current state of entertainment viewing in our Post-TV Gen trend, we found that 13-34-year-olds report watching almost 22 hours of content across all platforms and services weekly. That’s almost an entire day out of their week that they estimate they spend watching videos, TV shows, and movies. Among Gen Z, the estimate was even higher—23.4 hours per week. Often, young consumers’ disruptive entertainment habits are described in misleading ways—they’re “abandoning cable,” or “leaving TV behind”—but they’re not watching less content, they’re consuming more, watching on-the-go, in bed on their laptops, tablets, and phones, on car rides…anywhere their phones are going with them, which is everywhere.

So they’re hungry for content. But what the mobilization of entertainment has done is make much of that entertainment more solo-consumption. Gathering around a phone to watch a video can be done, but it’s not as natural as sitting around the TV screen together. Instead, watching videos and series is increasingly becoming an individual activity—but a new slew of apps is looking to change that. The idea of the social/shared/co-viewing of videos online is taking hold, with major players and startups launching new ways to turn solo-video viewing into a group experience. Here are five apps taking on social viewing, and telling young consumers to "watch together":

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

This week, Tumblr launched Cabana, a new app to allow users to “hang out and watch stuff” digitally. The app is a combination of group video chat and video viewing: six friends can video chat simultaneously, and watch videos together at the same time. Users can create “rooms”…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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