Gen Z, millennials drive growth in mobile video during pandemic, Snap study says
Robert Williams, mobilemarketer.com
- Generation Z and millennials are driving growth in mobile video usage, with 73% of young consumers saying they're watching more video on their smartphones this year than in 2019. Eighty-two percent of the consumer groups said they watch user-generated videos every day, compared with 52% who watch long-form TV and 49% who watch short-form premium video, per a study by the National Research Group commissioned by Snap.
- Eighty-six percent of Gen Z and millennials said mobile video has helped them cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, with 88% of respondents seeking entertainment, 77% watching videos about personal growth and wellness and 59% looking for news and information. About three quarters (76%) of respondents said they seek connection through their mobile devices, according to the study.
- The age groups seek convenience with 82% of survey respondents saying short-form premium content fits well into their daily schedule, while 56% said full-length TV or video series are too much of a time commitment. About seven out of 10 respondents said they would rather engage with a lot of shorter videos than be immersed with a longer video, Snap found.
Mobile devices are driving a significant shift in video viewing habits, especially among the Gen Z and millennial groups that many brands seek to reach with advertising. Snap's study indicates that younger consumers are more comfortable with shorter videos, confirming other research indicating that Gen Z prefers bite-size content they can consume throughout the day. The coronavirus pandemic is driving a surge in mobile video consumption that may herald a permanent shift in how mobile marketers reach younger audiences, Snap's study suggests.
Gen Z and millennial consumers are comfortable with vertical video formats that make viewing easier on smartphones. Seventy-six percent of respondents said vertical video feels more personal, while 74% described it as immersive. The percentages are slightly higher among Snapchat users, according to the Snap study.
Mobile devices have overtaken TV for video consumption among the general population, a trend that's forecast to continue. The average time spent with mobile devices has increased 57% to 4 hours and 18 minutes a day this year from 2014, with about 47 minutes (20%) of that time spent watching video. Meanwhile, the time spent watching TV has slumped 12% to 3 hours and 49 minutes a day during the comparable period, per eMarketer data cited by Snap.
However, the study doesn't explain why Quibi, the mobile video startup founded by Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, has so far failed to gain traction among consumers despite its focus on short entertainment videos. The well-funded company seeks to connect with younger viewers whose mobile video consumption is growing, and the pandemic's effect on viewing habits didn't help the company to drive downloads after the first week of its release. The company also has been dogged by reports that advertisers were disappointed in its viewership numbers and sought to renegotiate their deal terms amid ad budget pressures caused by the pandemic.