Survey: Young adults online video consumption rockets

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GenZ (18-24 year olds) and Millennials (25-34 year olds) are feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic more severely than any other generation. That’s according to the third wave of Kantar’s Covid-19 Barometer, a global study of how Covid-19 is influencing people’s attitudes, behaviours and expectations across more than 50 markets.

Although overall concern levels among this generation are lower than average – 35 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 37 per cent of 25-34 year olds say they are hugely concerned about the situation, compared to 41 per cent overall – the pandemic is having a greater impact on Millennials and GenZ than older generations.

Over half of Millennials (52 per cent) and 49 per cent of GenZ say they have already experienced an impact on their household income and an additional 26 per cent across the combined 18-34 age group expect to be impacted in the future – more than any other generation.

Young adults are turning to a broad range of coping mechanisms to manage their mental wellbeing

  • Social interaction has been the hardest to give up for 41 per cent of Millennials and GenZ, followed by freedom and leaving the house.
  • When compared to older generations, 18-34 year olds are engaging more intensely with coping strategies, with sleeping more and exercising the most common ways that this age group is choosing to manage their mental health and wellbeing:
    • 53 per cent of GenZ and 48 per cent of Millennials are exercising more (vs 43 per cent overall)
    • 53 per cent of GenZ and 45 per cent of Millennials are sleeping more (vs 41 per cent overall)
    • 23 per cent of GenZ and 22 per cent of Millennials are meditating (vs 18 per cent overall)
    • Millennials in particular are choosing a “drysolation” with 26 per cent avoiding alcohol (vs 21 per cent overall)
    • 18 per cent of GenZ and 20 per cent of Millennials are avoiding news (vs 17 per cent overall)
  • These two generations are also taking this opportunity to learn new skills:
    • 40 per cent of GenZ and 38 per cent of Millennials say they are focusing on their personal development, compared to a global average of 29 per cent
    • 57 per cent of GenZ and 63 per cent of Millennials are trying new recipes (vs 51 per cent overall)
  • The differences between how GenZ and Millennials are handling the situation are indicative of their differing concerns. While 18-24 year olds seem to be seeking ways to stay busy, 25-34 year olds appear more focused on activities that reduce stress as they feel the financial burden of the pandemic even more strongly than their younger counterparts.

Media consumption continues to rise later into lockdown

  • At-home media consumption as well as online consumption have grown significantly in lockdown, particularly among younger viewing audiences.
  • Online video has seen the greatest increase, with 72 per cent of GenZ and 69 per cent of Millennials saying they use it more (vs 52 per cent overall). Of all the online platforms, YouTube has now seen the greatest increase, with 71 per cent of GenZ and 65 per cent of Millennials using the channel more. TikTok is also gaining momentum, with usage up by a third (33 per cent) among GenZ and 27 per cent among Millennials.
  • Social media usage has also continued to rise, with over two thirds (68 per cent) of the 18-34 age group spending more time on social channels. Instagram is the channel that has seen the greatest gains among young adults (63 per cent of GenZ and 49 per cent of Millennials say they are using it more), perhaps as more people turn to the platform’s video and live-stream capabilities to participate in activities such as virtual workouts and cooking classes.

Millennials and GenZ hold brands to higher account

  • Compared to other generations, young adults have a higher expectation that brands should engage in a more proactive way with society and its citizens:
    • 50 per cent of GenZ and 46 per cent of Millennials say that companies should make donations to support the purchase of masks and sanitisers for hospitals (vs 44 per cent overall).
    • 39 per cent of GenZ and 33 per cent of Millennials believe that companies should make donations to support scientific research (vs 32 per cent overall).
    • 22 per cent of GenZ and 23 per cent of Millennials feel that brands should set an example and guide the change (vs 18 per cent overall).
  • In line with the general population, only 6 per cent of Millennials and GenZ believe that brands should stop advertising.
    • The use of humour in the current climate is a polarising topic across generations; 38 per cent of people feel humour inappropriate in advertising at time, although 24 per cent of people disagree. But compared to older generations, 18-34 year olds are slightly more resistant to the use of humour in the current environment, with 41 per cent of GenZ and 39 per cent of Millennials saying that humour should not be used.

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