Company News · January 18, 2023

Media Habits of Gen Z

By Edison Research

Click here to download Media Habits of Gen Z from Edison Research and PRPD

Scroll down to view a recording of the webinar.

Edison Research today presented Media Habits of Gen Z, a study that combines survey research with in-depth interviews to better understand how individuals age 12-24 consume media and what resonates with them. 

There are approximately 58 million people in the U.S. who make up the digitally native “Gen Z,” which represents 20% of the 12+ population. 

One-on-one interviews about Gen Z self-perception revealed:

Gen Z see themselves as open minded and accepting. Respondents use words like “flexible” and “progressive” to describe themselves. They talk of living in a world filled with constant change which requires such traits. The Gen Z cohort is more ethnically diverse than any generation before it, with 53% of those age 12-24 in the U.S. identifying with a non-white ethnic group, so they are exposed to a variety of cultures and norms. 

Gen Z carry a heavy mental load, and they are tired. They have experienced Covid, culture wars, and other major historic events at an age where they are developing and learning about the world. Many expressed the need for rest and self-care.
Findings were presented by Edison Research Vice President Megan Lazovick, and Senior Director of Research Gabriel Soto. The study was commissioned by PRPD and presented at their 2022 conference.
“Content creators and media outlets who try to reach Gen Z are wise to consider that this generation is not quick to judge or dismiss something unless they think it’s inauthentic or harmful,” said Lazovick. “They are accepting of others and have a great deal on their minds.” 

Survey research shows:

The smartphone is the center of Gen Z living. Ninety-three percent of Gen Z own a smart phone, and Gen Z spend 57% of their daily audio time listening through a mobile phone.The one-on-one interviews yielded such quotes as, “I go to sleep when I get home at eleven. It’s like until I pass out with the phone on my chest, I am on my phone, Google searching, you know, looking at Facebook, looking at videos or anything that I didn’t get a chance to look at early in the day.”

Gen Z are digital natives and they consume digital audio. Almost everyone (95%) in the online Gen Z online population uses streaming video. Almost one-third (32%) watch live stream video games.

Gen Z spend more time with music than the overall population. Those age 13-24 in the U.S. spend 3 hours and 43 minutes daily listening to music — an average of 40 minutes more than the rest of the population. Their top genre preferences are Hip Hop/R&B, Top 40, and Alternative Rock.

According to Soto, “Smartphones have always been a part of Gen Z’s story. Gen Zers have the ability to immerse themselves in media at any time, and on-demand online audio has appealed to this generation that cares about the ability to have full control of their music.”

About the survey: Survey data from those in the U.S. was compiled from three datasets, including The Infinite Dial (age 12-24), Share of Ear (age 13-24), and Edison Podcast Metrics (age 12-24). Twelve in-depth interviews were conducted in August 2022.
About Edison Research 
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients worldwide, having conducted research in 66 countries. Edison Research’s The Infinite Dial® series has been the survey of record for digital audio, social media, podcasting, smart speakers, and other media-related technologies since 1998. The company’s Share of Ear® survey is the only single-source measure of all audio in the U.S. Edison Research is the leading podcast research company in the world, producing the only survey-based data on podcast listening in the U.S, Edison Podcast Metrics, and has conducted research for many companies in the space. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of election data, race projections and analysis to the National Election Pool (ABC News, CBS News, CNN, NBC News) for every presidential primary and general election.   


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