The Top 15 Sites Millennials & Gen Z Are Reading

Where on the internet are young consumers spending their time? We asked what sites they’re reading regularly…

For years, the magazine has been reinventing itself in the wake of the digital era—cutting back on publishing and moving to the social spaces young consumers spend their time on. Titles like Teen Vogue and Self are cutting back on print and focusing on creating social-only content like Snapchat pop-up channels and Facebook Live shows. When we ask young consumers what subscriptions they pay for, only 13% of 13-36-year-olds tell us they pay for a physical magazine subscription. Their reading has shifted online—certainly to social media, where they’re doing everything from getting fashion inspiration to consuming entertainment—but also to digital publications.

And there are a lot vying for their attention. Traditional news sources and magazines have pivoted to focus on their digital offerings as the draw for young consumers, and digital native content sites are in a constant race for clicks from Gen Z and Millennials. Back in 2014, Digiday reported that Millennial-targeted sites, from BuzzFeed to Upworthy, were on the rise in reaction to the generation’s disillusionment with traditional news sources. But where is their online attention being grabbed today? In our most recent survey on entertainment, we asked 13-36-year-olds, “What websites do you visit/read regularly? (Other than social media sites.)”* Here are their top 15 responses, ranked:   

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of sites that Gen Z and Millennial consumers are reading—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most popular. The lists are ordered according…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “A lot of people stay in jobs they hate. They feel stuck or need the money. I refuse to do this. I just gave up a Nursing career to be a CSR and I have never been happier.”—Female, 27, IN

YouTube is cracking down on creators that participate in dangerous viral challenges. The media giant updated their community guidelines to take a stronger stance against stunts that spin out of control—like the Tide Pod Challenge. Any creator that performs “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger” will earn a strike—three and they’re out. What could constitute a strike? Just ask Jake Paul, who recently drove blindfolded for the #BirdBoxChallenge. (The Verge)

The inner five-year-old of Millennials everywhere is jumping up and down for Hot Topic’s Polly Pocket collab. In partnership with Mattel, the brand that wins at delivering unique styles is dropping a 17-piece collection of nostalgic merch. (The line looks a lot like another throwback collection we called out last year.) In celebration of the iconic toy’s 30th birthday (feel old yet?), ‘90s kids can cop everything from bags to hats to mini makeup palettes that feature shades like “Made in the 90s.” (Nylon)

YouTubers Life OMG! is like The Sims for a generation of aspiring social media stars. Players can pretend to be a video game streamer, a passionate creative, or another influencer. But the game is just as realistic as the kids who play it, making them do chores and deliver newspapers when they’re off the air. Similarly, most kids seem to know the dream is not a full-time gig; just take it from nine-year-old Oliver, who explains, “Of course I will have a good job as well, not just YouTube." (Vice)

Big brands are swooping in to save young shoppers from 2018’s oat milk shortage. The buzzy beverage has become the environmentally friendly alternative to almond milk for Millennial & Gen Z shoppers seeking dairy-free and vegan options. It became a barista favorite this year, mainly thanks to industry upstart, Oatly, which is opening a new factory to up their production. But they better hurry: big brands like Pepsi Co.’s Quaker Oats, Danone’s Silk, and Califia Farms are all getting in on this grain-based trend. (Bloomberg)

The most old-fashioned form of TV is experiencing a surge: over-the-air. While the Post-TV Gen continue to cut the cord, more are buying physical antennas to tap free networks and watch live events. Nielsen data found that this kind of old-school appointment viewing jumped from 9% of all homes in 2010 to 14% last year. Diving deeper into that 14%, about three in five also subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, and their median age is 36. (Fortune)

Quote of the Day: “I’d rather do a job I'm passionate about for a lower salary than do a high-paying but low-rewarding job.”—Male, 18, MA

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