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Gen Z media consumption habits

Media consumption patterns have been changing ever since the real advent of the internet. Digital access to information moved the general public away from having to choose a single newspaper for their topical insights and instead put a vast array of sources at their fingertips. For consumers, this was an information revolution.

Photo by Shingi Rice

For the marketing and communications community, it was a nightmare! It suddenly became much harder to work out how to target different demographics, who were surfing the web without rhyme or reason [or at least that is sometimes what it looks like!] Understanding media consumption habits is an effective, efficient and cost-effective campaign. In an age where younger demographics have a complex media consumption habits, we turn to the data to help us understand - are Gen Z reading the news?

Accessing content

Gen Z is characterised as being born in the late nineties into the noughties and grew up in an era when the internet really exploded. Gen Z do not remember a time when they couldn’t just Google something. It probably comes as no surprise that this generation are much less likely to access news content via traditional media sources; Ofcom’s News Consumption in the UK 2022/23 report reveals that the gap can be quite wide between young adults [aged 18-23] compared to those over 30.

  • TV (47% vs 70%)

  • radio (25% vs 40%)

  • print newspapers (16% vs 26%).

Content matters

As well as understanding how Gen Z accesses news, it is important for marketers to tailor the style of their comms to suit their varying interests and needs. A study by EY found that authenticity is the most important value for Gen Z, who are more intentional spenders - they use their purchasing power to make statements that align to their ethics. Successfully communicating a brand to Gen Z has to feel authentic, as well as be seen in the right places.

Meet them where they are

The importance of knowing your audience for marketing and PR professionals is clear. With the abundance of platforms we now have and multiple different ways to access the news, it is no longer a given that a piece in print will reach your intended audience. Knowing exactly who you are targeting allows you to have better insights into where and when they get their news - meaning you can ensure to meet them where they are.

At Antidote, we often advise clients that some of the best bang for their buck is segmentation and benchmarking. Knowing your audience will ensure that subsequent activity has the greatest chance to impact. In a time of time budgets, it can feel tempting to spend less on the upfront work but you’ll save in the long run.


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