Research: Gaming now above TV in Gen Z interests

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GWI, a supplier of audience insights, has shared the findings of its report, Connecting the dots 2022. The research focuses on changing consumer attitudes and how their behaviours will shape the year ahead.

The report is compiled through the continuous collection of survey data throughout 2021, by GWI, from 700,000 interviews across 47 countries. It looks at the trends that are defining society and distils them into six themes shaping lives around the world. It provides an understanding of ‘what’ changes are taking place and ’why’ – helping businesses and brands to identify consumer drivers, eliminate misinformation and power strategic decisions.

Some key themes for 2022 are:

May TV have your attention please:
From Netflix’s Squid Game to Amazon Prime Video’s Clarkson’s Farm, streaming services are grabbing the attention of consumers in their tens of thousands – with a 16 per cent increase in time spent watching online TV in the UK alone, compared to pre-pandemic. This has left traditional broadcasters to compete for audience attention, as a quarter of global consumers are now thinking about cancelling a TV service.

Gaming top of the list for Gen Z: Even with more out-of-home activities available now, consumer interest in gaming, and time spent on it, have continued to grow. Gaming is increasingly becoming the central medium for Gen Z globally, and for the first time in the UK specifically, it is sitting above TV in this consumer group’s list of personal interests (48 per cent v 47 per cent).


Music to audio’s ears:
Audio of all kinds thrived during lockdowns, and will continue to do so over the next year. Based on average listening time per day, music streaming is the only media type to be outperforming its lockdown peak in 2020 at a global scale. In the UK, there has been a 10 per cent rise in consumers tuning into music streaming services, and a 9 per cent rise in those listening to podcasts compared to pre-pandemic.

Consumers calling for authenticity: Consumers are sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly on social media. People are fed up with manufactured images online – with one third of UK Gen Zs and millennials saying people should be showing their “real” selves on social media. This endless search for perfection has become a turn-off, so luxury and fashion brands could benefit from ensuring their images are more realistic and inclusive.

Increased health awareness and action: Consumers are taking more control of their wellbeing. Many people are looking after their health in new ways – from saying no to stress-inducers, to exploring digital health solutions. So much so that over half of UK consumers say they are now more conscious about their mental health following the pandemic – brands and employers need to respond.

Chase Buckle, Head of Global Trends at GWI, comments: “The last few years have been tough on everyone. These trends make it clear that after putting their lives on hold through numerous lockdowns, people want more excitement and focus again – be it via a change in job, or seeking more purpose in their work and life. While brands have been talking about getting back to ‘normal’ since the pandemic began, it’s clear that consumers have no intention of that. They want more than just the old ‘normal’.”


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