Gen Z: The Streaming Generation

The Digital Trail

“So my 16-year-old daughter is thrilled, actually. Her car is ready to go. As soon as she has her license, it’s in the driveway. And so she sits in her car and she listens to the radio and she loves her car.”

This is Sheryl Connelly, Ford Motor Company’s futurist opining on the Gen Z generation with NPR.

It is true, Gen Z love to stream content. How much?

“50% can’t live without YouTube” according to Adweek. Although YouTube reigns supreme for its video content; 12% of Gen Z’ers use the media platform for music streaming.

The winding road between video and audio streaming has delivered a new and popular format with the Gen Z generation: the podcast.

According to Edison Research’s “Infinite Dial 2018” study, 30% of US Gen Z’ers are on par with US adults ages 25-54 (32%) when it comes to monthly podcast listening for 2018. A trend that has jointly grown with adults ages 25-54 for the past 5 years.

To no surprise, Gen Z’ers rely on their smartphone for the majority of their media consumption, more specifically, 97% of Gen Z’ers own one according to Nielsen. When we further explore the device used most often by the podcast consumer in 2017, 23.9 million podcast consumers ages 18+ used a smartphone to engage with the popular digital format, making up 58% of total audience share according to Nielsen.

Podcasts Not Yet Disrupted by the Smart-Home

According to a Localytics February 2018 survey of US smartphone users, the degree to which households have replaced their smartphone usage due to smart-home devices has impacted mostly the audio listener. Although the podcast involves both audio and video modalities, the impact on the podcast listener has been modest. In the survey, only 34% of US smartphone owners feel smartphone usage has not been disrupted by smart-home devices when listening to podcasts, while 26% feel it has.

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