These 4 Social Media-Only Shows Could Be The Future of TV

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

An onslaught of social media-only TV shows are taking over teens’ screens, paving a new way to unfold a narrative that’s more interactive and engaging than traditional TV…

Social media is rising up as a legitimate place to launch shows for the Post-TV Gen, capturing the attention of major media brands. Though Ypulse’s Media Consumption Tracker shows that YouTube and Netflix top the list of places 13-36-year-olds watch videos weekly or more often, Facebook follows behind for Millennials at 45%. When we focus on teens, it becomes clear that social media platforms that recently started to up their offerings are taking over young viewers’ screen time: After YouTube, Instagram held 13-17-year-olds’ third spot at 50%, followed closely by Snapchat. Twitch and Facebook lagged further behind, but still beat out all other services, including cable.

Social media platforms are making sure those numbers continue to rise by making themselves a more attractive place for media giants to step in, or to launch their own originals. Facebook Watch has a rapidly-expanding slate of content, from dating shows to sports competitions, and they’re adding a new feature that aims to make social media video viewing more like live TV, reports Tubefilter. Meanwhile, Snapchat is betting that short original shows will hold teens’ attention, partnering up with NBCU for scripted original series—and they’re stealing top Hollywood talent like the Duplass brothers to do it. They hope the mobile-only format, which one producer calls “uniquely Snap,” will appeal to 18-24-year-olds and set their platform apart from streaming services and linear TV alike, according to THR. And then of course there’s IGTV, Instagram’s standalone app for vertical video which sets Instagram up as a YouTube competitor, writes The Verge.

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Quote of the Day: “Time I could be sleeping is time I spend on social media. It's now part of my waking up and going to sleep routine and, for those reasons, I'm feeling done with social media."—Male, 24, CA

MasterCard created an audio-only logo for Generation Voice Activated. The finance brand has debuted a sound they’ll play when people check out using their MasterCard. YPulse data shows that 29% of 18-36-year-olds own a smart speaker device, and that number is only expected to grow along with the use of other audio-activated devices. MasterCard wants to make their brand memorable without visual cues to tap into the $40 billion in revenue voice shopping is expected to generate by 2022. (Fast Company)

Brands are acting uncannily human on Twitter—is it working? Many brands (mainly the food and beverage kind) are “behav[ing] like real people with idiosyncratic personalities” on social media to connect with young consumers. This allows them to “stand out it in a crowded marketplace," explains one marketing professor. And Twitter users are engaging: from Sunny D to Steak-umm, brands are going viral for nihilist, and even depressing, first-person posts. (Vice)

Millennials are buying more greeting cards this Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimates the industry made as much as $933 million yesterday, compared to $894 million last year. Experts say that Millennials are behind the boost as they buy more expensive, albeit fewer, cards that often have personalized flourishes and functions (like audio). They’re also opting for IRL cards over e-cards because, as one enthusiast explains, "I like giving cards because you can hold it, unlike a text or email.” (NPR)

Brands went beyond romantic messaging for Valentine’s Day this year. Some catered to Millennials’ Treat Yo’Self mentality with collaborations like Tinder and Homesick’s “Single, Not Sorry” candle, while others celebrated Galentine’s Day. Target stocked themed decorations for those hosting girls-only get-togethers and Kay Jewelers set aside a site category for Galentine’s Day gifts. Finally, the NRF estimates that pet owners spent $886 million on their furry friends on Valentine’s Day, and retailers like PetSmart advertised accordingly. (ContentStandard)

More college grads are taking on retail jobs as stores up the ante for new hires. Yes, the trend is fueled by student debt and other financial factors, but also because stores that focus on experience expect more than ever from their customer service reps. Workers at Sweaty Betty, Everlane, and Warby Parker are reportedly trained with workshops, tests, and homework. But while, as one expert explains, “Customers are also coming in with much higher expectations of what level of service they’re going to receive,” retail wages aren’t keeping pace. (Refinery29)

Quote of the Day: “The best thing about social media is to connect with people across geographical boundaries and cultures. I love interacting with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”—Female, 22, PA

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