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Hub: Gen Z Entertainment Choices, Device Use More Varied Than Older Cohorts

Hub: Gen Z Entertainment Choices, Device Use More Varied Than Older Cohorts

There’s a fundamental shift in how the next generation of consumers defines “entertainment,” according to data from Hub Entertainment Research.

Gen Z spends more time watching non-premium video and playing video games than watching TV, according to Hub. Unlike their parents — for whom “must see TV” was not just a pasttime but a cultural touchstone — TV is just one of a constellation of on-screen activities for those under 25. In fact, those over 35 say they spend more than double the time on TV shows that Gen Z does, Hub found. And Gen Z respondents spend more time on both gaming (22%) and non-premium videos on platforms such as YouTube (21%) than they do watching TV shows (17%).

Gen Z doesn’t watch cable much, according to Hub. Gen Z consumers spend about one-fifth of their screen time watching through apps on a smart-TV (the same as their older counterparts), but only 8% of their time goes to watching shows through a cable box (compared with 31% among older viewers). And they spend more time watching on their cell phone than on any other screen.

Platforms such as YouTube face the prospect of being left behind, according to Hub. YouTube has flourished as viewers spend more time on non-premium video. But for Gen Z, TikTok has become a go-to destination in a very short amount of time. Among Gen Z consumers who use both platforms, 54% say they spend more time on TikTok (and 40% spend “a lot more time”), and 73% say that if they could only use one, they’d keep TikTok. More than half of Gen Z viewers say they watch less “regular” TV because of the time they spend watching non-premium video.

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“Gen Z is just as passionate about entertainment as their Gen X parents and Boomer grandparents,” Jon Giegengack, principal and Hub founder, said in a statement. “But they are content omnivores, and TV is just one of a constellation of things competing for their attention. Most importantly: so far, there’s no reason to think they’ll outgrow their attachment to short form video or gaming as they get older.”

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