Decoding Gen Z: Explore the Content Consumption Habits of 16-24 Year Olds in 2023

Understanding the Digital Natives: BETC Teens Study 2023

The latest edition of the BETC Teens Study, conducted by BETC Fullsix advertising, provides an in-depth analysis of the content consumption habits and preferences of 16-24 year olds. As a generation that has never experienced life without smartphones and unlimited internet access, these digital natives make up 32% of the global population today.

Gathering insights through qualitative interviews with European and American teenagers and young adults, this study explores how their content consumption influences their relationships, identity formation, as well as the expectations they have for brands when it comes to digital content efforts.

Always Connected: The Reality of 24/7 Content Consumption

From morning till night, whether at school or home, on the go or even in the restroom, Gen Z is constantly immersed in social media and streaming platforms. They acknowledge having low concentration spans but claim to excel at multitasking and juggling multiple activities simultaneously.

  • Increased screen time and binge-watching habits
  • Awareness of excessive content consumption leading to guilt and low self-esteem
  • Innovative strategies to regain control over algorithms (e.g., rewatching desired content on TikTok)

Seeking Identity and Comfort Through Content Choices

Films, series, and other visual content serve as critical elements in shaping Gen Z’s identities and social interactions. While trendy platforms like TikTok allow them to broaden their exposure to new cultural phenomena, nostalgic material from their childhood – such as Friends and Disney classics – remains highly popular among this age group as they search for comfort and safe spaces.

Gen Z’s Expectations from Brands: Authenticity, Substance, and Collaboration

The latest BETC Teens study highlights three critical lessons for brands looking to create relevant and engaging content for Gen Z:

  1. Be yourself: Authenticity is more important than flashy gimmicks. Brands need to avoid overacting or trying too hard to seem relatable and focus on genuine connections with their target audience.
  2. Focus on substance: Rather than relying solely on superficial attention-grabbing tactics, brands should strive to provide meaningful content that resonates with Gen Z’s values and aspirations.
  3. Collaborate with content creators: Organic partnerships and collaborations with content creators – especially smaller, “underground” influencers who offer original, creative experiences – are more likely to succeed in capturing the attention and trust of Gen Z audiences.

Key Takeaways: Successfully Engaging Gen Z with Content Strategies

To achieve success in reaching out to Gen Z, brands must adapt to the digital natives’ ever-evolving content consumption habits. As a generation hyper-aware of their daily interactions with screens and algorithms, catering to this discerning audience requires authenticity, substance, and innovative collaboration with content creators. Ensure that your brand stays relevant and makes a lasting impact by adopting these strategies and staying updated on Gen Z preferences and trends.

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