VidMob revealed the results of its State of Social Video study, which surveyed 1,000 16 to 24-year-olds (Gen Z) and 1,000 25 to 34-year-olds (millennials) across the US in May about their media consumption habits and advertising preferences. The findings illustrate where younger audiences are spending their time and that they consider style one of the most important aspects of their representation.
Essentially, the younger the audience is, the more time they spend watching videos. The Gen Z participants surveyed said that they spent 41 percent of their time watching videos which comes out to about 25 minutes for every hour of time spent consuming digital media. Meanwhile, millennials reported that 33 percent of their time, or 20 minutes out of every hour, was spent with video.
Young audiences spending over half of their video viewing time on social media apps on mobile devices, with YouTube being the most prevalent platform, followed by Snapchat and Instagram. More specifically Gen Z respondents said that 59 percent of their video time was through social apps, which is 5x more time than the time spent with linear television and twice as much than with streaming services such as Netflix.
However, the study points out that the Stories features on both Instagram and Snapchat have gained exceptional popularity. Millennials mostly watch Stories on Instagram, although Snapchat is a second-place winner, while the reverse is true for Gen Z but at a slimmer margin.
The most popular video types for both demographics are How-to tutorial videos and hacks, which appeals to almost half of both audiences, but many—especially female Gen Z Snapchat users—also report that they turn to Stories to see comedy. The study also states that one in four people from both groups actively seek out videos for services and products they’re considering for purchase.
According to a related VidMob blog post, “Younger audiences engage with content that resonates with their personal style.” To this end, brands need to think about personalizing video content in a different way. Instead of thinking about age, gender, ethnicity or life stage, the company suggest emphasizing style because young audiences value “vibe over their tribe.” More specifically, they’re looking for styles that best match their individual tastes, optimized for social viewing on mobile devices. Respondents said that this was more important to them than celebrity or influencer endorsements and age/life stage topics.
With that being said, the report also notes that Gen Z tends to be swayed by influential people, images and colors more often than millennials. About 41 of Gen Z participants said they felt more positively toward ads that they thought were visually beautiful compared to 32 percent of millennials.
But at the same time, both groups find repetitive ads annoying, with over a quarter of Gen Z stating that they tuned them out. Almost half of millennials recommended that brands keep their videos short, while 66 percent of Gen Z didn’t mind longer videos. Additionally, 23 percent of Gen Z respondents also said that getting the right music should be a priority for brands.