Gen Z: leading the future of digital entertainment (By Paolo Rizzardin)

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OPINION: Gen Z: Leading the Future of Digital Entertainment (By Paolo Rizzardin)
23.11.2022 / 18:40 CET/CEST
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OPINION: Gen Z: Leading the Future of Digital Entertainment (By Paolo Rizzardin)

Paolo Rizzardini, Mondia Digital ( – CEO

Gen Z, the first digitally native generation, comprises a third of the world’s population and represents more than a quarter of consumers globally. They are the largest generation alive today, and the way they consume entertainment is driving dramatic changes in the media and content creation environment.

Traditional forms of entertainment, such as television and movies, are no longer the dominant force they once were. Instead, this generation is turning to the internet and social media for their entertainment needs.

There are a number of reasons for this change. First of all, Generation Z has grown up with the Internet and social media. Gen Z was the first generation with ubiquitous access to the Internet and portable computing devices from a young age. They are comfortable using these platforms and expect a constant stream of new and interesting content.

Another reason for the change is that traditional forms of entertainment are becoming more expensive. Ticket prices for cable TV and movies have been rising, while streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are becoming more popular.

Gen Z preferences are driving innovation and technology markets: Trifecta Research ( reported that Gen Z is expected to influence more than $200 billion in sales annually in the US. This change has led to the rise of new platforms and content creators that cater to the Gen Z audience.

They are the generation of smartphones, but they are open to new technologies.

Gen Z is an online mobile generation, the first without memory from a world before smartphones. Smartphone penetration is almost complete. 89% ( they use their smartphones every day and most are constantly connected. 78% ( consider their mobile device to be their most important access method.

They started using phones earlier in life. ( they are far more engaged with mobile apps than any other generation.

69% ( still watch TV daily, but only half the time they spend watching Netflix and YouTube. Gen Z is also open to new interface technology; According to Basis research (, 3 in 10 Gen Zers in the US reported having or intending to own a VR headset, and more users more Gen Z smart wearables (21 million) than Gen X.

They like short videos online

Ofcom’s Media Nations 2022 report ( revealed that 65% of Gen Z watch short videos every day (compared to just a third of adults). Gen Z watches videos uploaded by the general public more often than they do by family, friends, or influencers.

Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have become incredibly popular, offering a wide variety of content that can be consumed anytime, anywhere. YouTube has become a source of entertainment for Gen Z, with 84% ( visiting the site at least once a day and 70% ( /3Ox9ReL) watching more than two hours a day. They spend even more hours watching TikTok: an average of 10.5 ( a week.

Gen Z consumes a wide range of video content, from vlogs and challenges to gaming videos and music, while instructional videos are a notable favorite, reflecting their enthusiasm for learning. Generation Z is generally concerned with social and environmental issues, and is connected and engaged with the world. According to Deloitte (, about 80% of Gen Z consume news and current events on a daily basis. More than half get their news and current events from social media feeds and messaging services, and only 30% from dedicated news websites.

They stream their audio

According to Ofcom (, half of total listening time (47%) was spent on music online via a streaming service, double the proportion from five years ago. Spotify and Pandora lead (Gen Z listened to 578 billion minutes ( of music on Spotify in a single quarter in 2022), followed by Apple Music, Amazon Music and others.

Generation Z is increasingly connected to creators on audio platforms and happy to join online communities to support them. The creator-fan relationship is becoming more reciprocal, with fans connecting on social media. Gen Z actively seeks new creators as a way to express their individuality, according to Wired magazine (

Broadcasting continues to fall compared to streaming services, and only one fifth of audio consumption is mp3 and CD. But podcasts are popular and growing: 61% ( of Gen Z listen to them at least once a month, and podcast ads are increasingly affecting buying behaviors .

they are social gamers

Gaming has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment for Gen Z, with 87% ( playing video games at least weekly, and a third (https://bit. ly/3Xr2Z6A) preferring games to other activities. This generation is more likely to play video games than any other age group, drawn by the level of interactivity and engagement.

Gaming is seen as a social activity that builds community, connections with others, and a form of self-expression, and they are comfortable paying for digital assets, suggesting that the Metaverse could evolve from existing gaming platforms.

Demand from Generation Z continues to drive the rise of mobile gaming and the increasing sophistication of mobile gaming, as well as live streaming platforms like Twitch. The gaming industry, largely driven by Generation Z, is valued at approximately $200 billion in the US alone.

They are serious about connecting.

Generation Z is sometimes referred to as the “sensible generation”: they are serious, well-informed, and concerned about the world. Their constant connection and mobile access is driving them to build communities focused on shared values, interests and goals. Activities once considered solitary (watching videos, playing games) are now predominantly social activities.

This demand for online connection will continue to drive innovation in the way content platforms provide unique, compelling and engaging environments for this generation to thrive.

Generation Z is increasingly driving digital entertainment and this means that the media and content creation environment has to continually adapt to these changing needs or risk falling into obscurity and ultimately extinction.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Mondia.

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