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Gen Z Survey: Watching TV and Movies is the No. 5 entertainment activity


Children today: They just aren’t programmed to watch TV like their elders.

According to the Deloitte survey on Digital Media Trends 2021, Generation Z shows noticeably different entertainment preferences than older age groups. Among Generation Z consumers in the United States (currently 14 to 24 years old), video games are their # 1 entertainment activity – and watching TV or movies at home ranks fifth.

About 26% of Generation Z said that video games were their main entertainment activity, and 87% of the age group said they played video games daily or weekly. This is followed by listening to music (14%), surfing the Internet (12%) and engaging in social media (11%).

According to the Deloitte study, only 10% of Generation Z respondents said watching TV or watching movies was their favorite pastime. For any other age group, this remains the top pickup including Millennials (18%), Gen Xers (29%), and Boomers (39%).

The decline in television consumption in recent demos is documented. What worries Hollywood, however, is that the new data could signal a seismic and permanent shift in consumer entertainment habits, said Kevin Westcott, vice chairman at Deloitte and US technology, media and telecommunications leader.

“The youngest generation is looking for video games, music and other forms of entertainment” before television and movies, Westcott said. “If you’re a traditional media company, you need to offer more entertainment than just movies and TV shows.”

While video games saw a dramatic increase in usage during the COVID-19 crisis, the popularity of online games could decline with the relaxation of quarantine restrictions. A solid majority of Generation Z, Millennials, and Generation X respondents said that video games helped them connect with other people and get through difficult times during the pandemic. About 46% of respondents said that playing video games reduced the time they spend on other forms of entertainment.

Still, Gen Z’s predilection for video games is having a long-term impact on the media business. “Everyone believed that as millennials got older, they would adopt the same media behavior as older cohorts. That didn’t happen, ”he said. “And there is no evidence that Gen Z will become like millennials.”

Top 5 entertainment activities of US consumers by age group

Source: Deloitte Media Trends survey, 15th edition

Further results of the Deloitte survey:

  • US consumers have, on average, access to four paid video streaming services; 82% subscribe to at least one paid streaming video service.
  • The churn rate (percentage account cancellations) for streaming video services skyrocketed during COVID: it was around 37% between October 2020 and February 2021 (compared to less than 20% before the pandemic).
  • A price increase is the main reason consumers cite for canceling a paid video, music or game service. Content (35%) and cost (46%) are the most important factors when deciding whether to subscribe to a new paid streaming video service.
  • 55% of consumers say they watch free, ad-supported video services; 40% say they would rather pay $ 12 a month for a streaming video service with no ads, as opposed to 60% of consumers who would accept some ads to cut monthly subscription costs.
  • 53% of respondents are frustrated because they need multiple service subscriptions to access the content they want.
  • 66% of US consumers say they feel frustrated when content they want to watch is removed from a service.
  • Half of Generation Z consumers rate social media as the preferred way to receive news, while only 12% prefer to receive news over the network or cable TV. In contrast, 58% of boomers say they prefer network or cable TV news, and only 8% search for news on social media first.
  • 77% of respondents say the government needs to do more to regulate data collection and use; 45% say they would pay for social media if they didn’t collect their data.

In February 2021, Deloitte’s 15th Annual Digital Media Trends Survey surveyed 2,009 US consumers online. The data in the study are weighted to reflect the composition of the US population.

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