Mobile During Streaming Is Key To Reaching Gen Z

Gen Zs are notoriously tough to reach, but their unique ways of engaging with TV create new opportunities for advertisers — including employing mobile messaging during streaming sessions, new research confirms.

Eight in 10 (82%) of Gen Zs watch TV via streaming services, and more than two-thirds (65%) do not have cable TV subscriptions, according to a survey of 2,500 U.S. adults ages 18 to 26 conducted for Samba by HarrisX March 23-27.

Fully 92% of Gen Zs stream video on mobile, and85% look at a mobile device while watching TV — more than any other generation.

Further, nearly half (47%) shop online while watching TV, 44% have paused an ad on TV to look up a product or make a purchase, and 34% have purchased a product through a QR code on a TV ad.

The takeaway: Advertisers looking to reach and move Gen Zs to action should optimize their ads for mobile devices and incorporate tech enabling mobile-focused calls-to-action, such as QR codes, says Samba — which adds that the outcomes can now be measured instantaneously.

Another insight: Entertainment platforms and social media apps are Gen Zs’ No. 1 way to find new shows and movies.Over three quarters (76%) of this generation report visiting entertainment platforms and social media apps to find relevant recommendations and ideas for what to watch.

TikTok is their top entertainment platform (69%) followed by Instagram (64%) and Snapchat (58%).

The survey also found 88% of Gen Zs confirming that they sometimes stream ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD).

And underscoring paid streaming services’ struggle to control churn, more than half (59%) of Gen Zs said they plan to “cycle” at least one streaming subscription in the next six months.   

“Highly elusive” Gen Zs are “reshaping how content is consumed across every screen,” notes Samba TV co-founder and CEO Ashwin Navin.

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