1 FEB 2024

Long-Form TV remains relevant for Gen Z

A new research by Horowitz Research shows that young Americans are almost as likely to be viewers of professionally produced TV content as they are non-TV content.

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Gen Zers (13-24 year-olds) are still heavily engaged with professional, full-length TV content, according to “FOCUS Generation Next,” a new Horowitz Research study that tracks the media lifestyles of Gen Z consumers in the U.S. This, according to the company, suggests that there are opportunities for media brands, digital publishers, and advertisers to engender small-screen behaviors on the big screen, such as sharing or socializing content and v-commerce.

While Gen Zers report spending most of their time with social media, short videos, streaming music, and video games, the study confirms that 8 in 10 Gen Zers report watching short-form videos weekly, while 7 in 10 say that they watch TV content every week. The data are similar for both older (18-24 year-old) and younger (13-17 year-old) Gen Zers.

As might be expected among Gen Z, this TV viewing is not just happening on TV screens. In fact, over half of Gen Zers say they typically watch professionally produced, long-form TV content on their TV sets, while over a third say they typically consume TV content on their smartphones. On the other hand, the smartphone is the device most typically used among 65% of Gen Zers to watch non-TV content. However, nearly 2 in 10 Gen Zers report that they usually watch non-TV/short-form content on their TVs, with older Gen Zers more likely to do so than younger Gen Zers. 

Gen Z streamers use an average of 6.1 streaming services to access TV content that appeals to them, up from 5.0 in 2020. Usage of FAST services among Gen Zers is on the rise, with the Roku Channel, Tubi, and Pluto TV being the most popular FAST services among this demographic. The most popular TV content genres among Gen Z viewers include movies, animated series/cartoons (not anime), dramas, and music-related content, with older Gen Zers reporting higher viewership across most of these genres than younger Gen Zers.

“Gen Z are most certainly engaged in long-form content almost as much as they are in short-form. What is interesting to us is thinking about how they might bring their short-form behaviors to the big screen and to their expectations when viewing long-form content and what that might mean from a content development, user experience, and revenue perspective. Moreover, now that the writers’ and actors’ strikes are over, we are excited to see how these younger audiences will take to some of the new content on the horizon, much of which is designed to appeal to them,” noted Adriana Waterston, EVP and Insights & Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research.

What is interesting to us is thinking about how they might bring their short-form behaviors to the big screen and to their expectations when viewing long-form content and what that might mean from a content development, user experience, and revenue perspective.” Adriana Waterston EVP and Insights & Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research

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