Gen Z

Meet the Architects of the Entertainment Cultural Frontier

Members of Gen Z are on the front line of a cultural renaissance, a propelling force in a time when change is the only constant. As architects of this evolution, Gen Z is changing the way we interact with culture. They are shaping the narrative, turning tradition on its head, and breaking down barriers while everyone else tries to keep up. And because they are brand experts, touting authenticity doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s imperative that brands understand the intricacies of how Gen Z communicates before they react.

We conducted proprietary research dissecting the Gen Z experience through the lens of six cultural subsets: Sports, Gaming, Music, Fashion, Entertainment and Stan/Fandom. Our goal was to uncover how Gen Z disrupts culture and how brands can engage with impact. We conducted custom quantitative and qualitative research across our key pillars, sampling 120+ respondents within the target age range. Here's what we learned as we explored their views regarding entertainment.

On-demand entertainment has necessitated the shift to “alternative engagement” to keep Gen Z tuned in

As modern cord-cutters, Gen Z has embraced on-demand alternatives over traditional entertainment, with 65% of respondents noting shifts in their preferred sources in the last few years. In conjunction with the expansion of digital platforms, social media, gaming, streaming, and audio have become integral to daily routine. This always-on approach to entertainment can be tailored to niche interests with the power to change our moods, offering escapism from the stress of the outside world.

Gen Z has earned its title as "the Nostalgia Generation.” While they seek entertainment that reflects the growth and diversity of their generation, they’ve also turned to eras they perceive as being more simple and carefree (e.g., 70s and Y2K aesthetics) for inspiration. Gen Z's learned ability to detect pandering for inclusion in TV shows emphasizes their shift away from traditional forms of entertainment, prompting a preference for platforms like podcasts and TikTok that better align with their values.

Social media in particular acts as a gateway for information sharing, as nearly 1 in 4 respondents admit to referencing TikTok as a source of news.

While traditional entertainment might face challenges, the landscape offers significant opportunities for "alternative engagement." These tailored approaches account for the micro-communities that Gen Z is a part of, enabling authentic interactions that resonate. As Gen Z craves frictionless media experiences that blur cultural boundaries, they reject the “one size fits all” influencer and explore edu-tainment and AI-driven content in the name of deep immersion.

Entertainment is just one of the cultural landscapes reshaped by Gen Z’s unique values, aspirations, and behaviors.

Download our custom research report to understand how brands can effectively engage with Gen Z and create campaigns that resonate across Sports, Gaming, Fashion, Music, and Stan/Fandom.

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