What Gen-Z’s Viewing Habits Mean for Your OTT Strategy

Publishers, advertisers, and content owners can use OTT streaming services to grow their brands, create new revenue streams, and keep up with viewers’ changing content consumption habits. As your company builds a plan to dominate OTT, it’s important to consider who your target audience is.

A recent study by Statista analyzed the number of OTT subscriptions maintained by members of each generation. The results show that Gen-Z and Millenial viewers are most likely to pay for two, three, and four or more subscription services when compared against Gen X and Boomers.

This shows that Gen-Z viewers are the generation that’s most invested in OTT services. However, another study (conducted by Hulu) shows that Gen-Z viewers consume content in vastly different ways than do viewers from other generations.

Collectively, these findings show the importance of reaching out to Gen-Z viewers in new ways. Doing so may even be the key to unlocking your company’s broader OTT strategy. Below, you’ll find all of the information you need to know about how Gen-Z viewers consume OTT content and what your company should do about it.

Gen-Z Viewers Value Content That is Diverse and Emotional

The aforementioned study conducted by Hulu found that 60% of Gen-Z viewers straddle multiple races, cultures, or languages. Additionally, 50% of all Gen-Z viewers reported that the current level of diversity on screen doesn’t reflect modern audiences. So, Gen-Z viewers are diverse and value diversity in the content they consume.

Additionally, studies have consistently shown that the content that performs best with Gen-Z viewers is that which packs an emotional punch. This is seen in two different ways. First, Gen-Z streamers enjoy shows like Euphoria, 13 Reasons Why, and Black-ish, which accurately depict the emotional challenges of everyday living. This is a group of shows that you might define as emotionally complex.

In addition to emotionally complex programs, Gen-Z viewers also enjoy content that is emotionally soothing. This generation watches this kind of content to escape from the challenges of everyday living. Examples of emotionally soothing content include Dollface and The Great British Bake Off.

Put simply, people who belong to this generation enjoy characters who are emotionally complex. Gen-Z viewers see themselves in these stories and are able to connect with their friends about the topics and ideas the stories discuss.

Gen-Z Viewers are Citizens of the World

More than any other generation, Gen-Z viewers embrace content that is created by many different cultures and in many different languages. This is expressed most clearly in the Hulu research, which found that 68% of Gen-Z streamers consider themselves citizens of the world.

This has real implications for the kind of content that Gen-Z streamers consume. The success of shows like Money Heist and Yuri! On Ice demonstrates that the right kind of content will resonate with Gen-Z viewers — regardless of the culture it comes from or the language it’s filmed in.

The diversity of Gen-Z viewers is surely part of the reason why this content is becoming more popular. Remember, 60% of Gen-Z streamers consider themselves a part of multiple races cultures, or language families. Skilled content creators and publishers can use this information to create programs and films that enable Gen-Z viewers to connect with the parts of themselves that they don’t usually see represented in mainstream entertainment. This creates a compelling opportunity to expand your audience.

What This Means for Your Company

Gen-Z viewers are already one of the leading consumers of OTT content. Their share of overall viewership will only increase as more individuals from this generation reach maturity and enter the marketplace. Given, this, it’s crucial that your OTT strategy both anticipates and, to a certain extent, is built around the preferences of Gen-Z viewers.

You can do this in a few different ways. First, if you’re a content creator or a publisher with a say in the content creation process, focus on making content that is both diverse and emotionally powerful. Doing so will significantly increase your chances of attracting a Gen-Z audience.

Your company can also use the willingness that Gen-Z streamers have to consume content in non-native languages to its advantage. This viewing habit means that publishers, content creators, and advertisers have the ability to reach global audiences easier than perhaps ever before.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by embracing an advertising-based video-on-demand (AVOD) OTT model. Doing so will enable Gen-Z viewers from across the globe to find your content and consume it without having to pay for a subscription. Publish the right content and you could dramatically increase your viewership by utilizing an AVOD model. This will make your streaming platform a much more attractive opportunity for interested advertisers.

VTV Studio Can Help Your Company Achieve Its OTT Goals

You can begin expanding your Gen-Z audience immediately with the right streaming platform and business model. Instead of trying to figure out what that looks like on your own, consider consulting with VTV Studios. We’re the OTT experts who can help you create the high-quality AVOD platform you need to reach your goals for both viewership and monetization. We look forward to hearing from you to get started with that process.

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