Young people prefer digital media such as YouTube and Netflix to TV, and they are becoming more accepting of online advertising. That’s according to new research from DEFY Media, which set out to explore the complete “video diet” for today’s youth.
The company’s latest Acumen Report found that Generation Z and late Millennials see digital video as more than just entertainment.
“With its broad content offerings and on-the-go accessibility, video is meeting needs beyond amusement and passing the time. Video is educational, stress-relieving, and — most importantly — keeps youth connected and included among their peers,” the report said.
Regarding advertising, the researchers learned that, although young people don’t like watching ads any more than adults, they consider it onerous only when it’s a barrier to fulfilling needs. If fact, in the right context, young people are quite willing to view the ads being served.
Drilling down into specific types of advertising on digital platforms, DEFY Media found that a brief sponsorship announcement or product integration is favoured over the traditional preroll. As many as 87% of the respondents approved of product placement in a video and 89% said a five–second intro screen showing a brand sponsor is “always or sometimes okay”.
The average young person aged 13 to 24 watches 12.1 hours per week of “free” digital video, and many consume an additional 8.8 hours of subscription digital video. TV, meanwhile, clocks up just 8.2 hours per week and far fewer watch it compared to digital.Genera
A key reason for this is that, with 93% of young people having access to smartphones and 63% to tablets, video is accessible all day, every day. Digital platforms are also thought to have more relatable content.
But it’s not just young people who are increasingly turning to digital media: a separate study from comScore has found that consumers of all ages are accessing content across more screens than ever before.
The company’s 2016 Cross-Platform Future in Focusreport revealed that television viewing in 2015 continued its shifting of time and space, with more delayed, on-demand and digital viewing of TV programming than ever before.
At the same time, digital media usage continued to grow at a fast rate, driven by smartphone app usage which is now approaching 50% of all digital media time spent.
The bottom line is that media habits are shifting and advertisers need to find their place in the digital world.