Noting that the number of global video viewers is projected to reach 2.72 billion in 2023, Snap Inc. commissioned a study from National Research Group to learn how Generation Z and millennials engage with video content and what to expect from the next era of mobile-first experiences.
NRG polled 1,000 smartphone owners between the ages of 13 and 35 in the U.S., from May 7 to 11, who had watched videos on their smartphones in the prior week.
It found that for Gen Z and millennials, smartphones top all other devices when it comes to media time, driven by premium content, which has seen a 40% rise in daily engagement thus far this year, with one-half of respondents consuming it on their smartphones daily, and by mobile entertainment, with 78% watching more video n their smartphones than they did last year.
Respondents are averaging four hours and 26 minutes on their mobile devices, compared with three hours and 24 minutes on televisions, and they are watching 47 minutes of video on mobile per day, just below the 50 minutes consumed on over-the-top or connected devices and nearly double the 24 minutes watching on laptops or desktops.
Snap and NRG pointed out that time spent on mobile trailed TV by six minutes in 2018, adding that while TV is seeing a temporary surge due to Covid-19, its decline is projected to continue next year.
The age gap is also significant, as the study found that Gen Z and millennials log “a fraction” of the daily TV times of older generations.
Short-form content is the way to go, as NRG found that over 80% of respondents favor short-form premium content to keep up with current news and participate in conversations.
Seven out of 10 Gen Z and millennials said they would rather engage with several shorter videos than become immersed in longer videos or TV series, while 56% of respondents said full-length TV and video series demanded too much of a time commitment.
Snap and NRG wrote, “The social currency that mobile video provides is further reinforced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Short-form mobile video is an accessible lifeline for consumers to connect and stay informed in a moment of need.”
A total of 77% of respondents said short-form premium video content made them feel like part of a community, while 85% of Gen Zers and 86% of millennials said technology enables them to express themselves and provides a platform for contributing to the conversation.
Vertical video formats were in favor, as 81% of Snapchat users said the format feels more personal and 77% said it feels more immersive.
Vanessa Guthrie, director of Snap Originals, said in the report, “The stories that you tell must lean into the intimacy factor of the phone. Beyond the fact that it’s a totally different medium, it’s so much more personal—and so the types of stories, and the way you tell them, have to be truly made for mobile.”
Snap touted NRG’s finding that Snapchat was the top-ranked application for making users feel connected to others, adding that this sense of togetherness has proven to be even more important during the pandemic, with 86% of Gen Z and millennial respondents crediting mobile video with helping them cope with new anxieties and stay in touch with loved ones while they cannot be together in-person.
Snap head of talent partnerships Jim Shepherd said in the report, “Young people today have inherited a very complicated, fast-paced world. At Snap, we are always thinking about how we can elevate these voices for change.”