Streaming As a Mindset of Today's Generation

Some years ago, MP3 players changed our way to listen to music. Now, smartphones, smart TVs and such services as Spotify, Netflix, HBO, Twitch, Pandora, etc. open the gate to the streaming world giving us a constant access to any type of media content. These on-demand realities mean a lot of changes for brands, marketers as well as owners of the streaming channels. To remain successful, they should keep pace with new viewers’ behavior, find new ways of interaction and segmentation. However, along with new difficulties, streaming offers an unprecedented possibility to create a detailed snapshot of people’s preferences. You can get to know everything about what a person listens to, which artists, streamers, playlists, etc, he/she enjoys and even what he/she is doing at the moment. This context allows you to take marketing, advertising or any other online business to an absolutely new level by creating a precisely targeted audience. Nowadays, streamers compose 50% of the online population, so it is time to consider streaming as an inevitable part of our live and as an essential part of any online business plan. Below, we’ll show you the main changes and peculiarities typical for the new generation of streamers.

Generation Z: Why Do They Comfortable to Live in Public?

There has been taken much effort to understand the Millennials (also known as “Generation Y”), those born between 1977 and 1994. Probably, it is one of the most investigated age group in the history. However, today's world is ruled by the next generation of active people intrinsically merged with online technologies - Generation Z, those born between 1995 and 2000. Why should we pay a special attention to this generation? Because it will determine the development of TV and Internet consumption for the next years. Generation Z is now just entering the market as independent consumers. As stated by Forbes, it is the largest generation in the U.S. at the moment and will comprise 40% of the population by 2020. Representatives of Gen Z are very different from their millennial predecessors, and their appearance, for sure, will cause remarkable changes in online businesses.

A Few Interesting Facts about Generation Z and Its Media Habits

(according to Trifecta Research):

  • Gen Z is two times more likely to stream content than baby boomers
  • They stream 90 minutes more content daily than average online user and are more likely to stream from their smartphones
  • 86% of them are always online through their smartphones
  • 70% of them watch YouTube more than 2 hours per day
  • 68% of respondents prefer online shopping
  • Parents of Gen Z children more often stream that people of the same age without Gen Z children

And a Few More Details to “Gen Z” Image from report:

  • 40% of Gen Z consider themselves to be addicted to their digital devices. These are the people who grew up with technology, they can’t imagine their world without it.
  • People of Gen Z adores gaming and are eager to spend money on VR headsets to enhance the feeling of virtual reality. 44% of then play video games daily.
  • More than 50% of Gen Z stream TV or movies at least 1 hour daily.
  • Social networks are the crucial part of Gen Z life: Instagram is the top social network used by them. As contrasted to their parents, many of Gen Z quit habitual social media in favor of anonymous social networks, such as Whisper, Snapchat and Secret.
So, what we have now is a grown-up hyper-social and tech-savvy generation of post-millennials. They have used to technologies from 1 year old. They constantly embrace new types of technology and forms of communication. They adore gaming and watching other people play. To illustrate this passion in figures: 66% of Gen Z considers gaming as their main hobby, while 97% of American youth regularly play video games. To understand the future prospect of game streaming look no further than Amazon’s $970 millions purchase of Twitch streaming platform. Today, Twitch is one of the largest sources of Internet traffic in the U.S. with more than 100 million visitors each month. Watch an insightful video about the future of streaming and videos:  

Streamers’ Behavior

Live streaming plays a significant role in people’s everyday lives influencing their consumer behavior and the way of thinking. We live in the time when people neglect the content ownership appreciating its accessibility instead. Gen Z or “the generation of streamers” want to have it all now. The desire to consume the content anytime, everywhere is a hallmark of nowadays.
  • Availability
Anyone who feels like it can easily broadcast his/her life and hobbies for fun or potential monetization. At the same time, every user can have a quick access to any song or show on-demand they want to watch in a matter of seconds.
  • Personalization
Gen Z doesn’t want to spend time searching for interesting content. Personalized and curated content offered by media is what they need. The ability to offer the right content at the right time is one of the most important factors for today’s streaming platforms. Thus, streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify provide their viewers with personalized sections - “Because you watched” and Discover Weekly. Twitch, for example, allows its viewers to watch other people play video games or e-sports offering the selection based on the previous viewer's experience. We dare to assume that the appetite for curated content will only grow stronger as live streaming continues to gain more audience.
  • Binge-watching
What we have now is a generation of binge-watching or marathon-viewing. This term was introduced by Netflix in 2014 meaning people who watch 2-6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting. With the rise of live streaming services this phenomenon has become more popular, as today everyone can watch anything on-demand. It has never been so easy to watch the entire season of “Emergency Room” or listen to all discography of Elvis in a day without spending a penny. Binging is a good example of how streaming transformed the way video and audio content is produced and consumed. It influences the way how people search for new, favorite music, shows or games. One of the good examples of binge-watching is 31 seasons of PBS series “The Joy of Painting” broadcasted by Twitch where talented painters were creating their masterpieces in real-time. The idea of marathons popular among Twitch streamers is also about it.
  • Living in the moment
As it was already stated, Gen Z prefer to turn away from the social media that previous generations embraced. They choose on-demand and “at the moment” platforms and apps that correspond to the principle: “it’s live, it’s now and then it’s gone.” Gen Z is more eager to communicate with the help of emojis and emoticons. That is why, live streaming platforms, such as Twitch, Ustream and YouTube Gaming, are the most popular among Gen Z representatives.

Take Away

The concept of streaming has become ubiquitous over the last decades.The aging of Generation Z create new challenges and possibilities for all involved in online business and entertainment. This young generation is used to having media on-demand. Living in the public, predilection to streaming as the the way of capturing current moods and moments are the core values of the new generation. From this point, streaming as a trend is now in its nascent stage. The biggest jerk in its development will happen in the next years, finally edging us to the true virtual reality which doesn’t seem to be a fiction anymore.