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The underutilized audience that can be publishers’ biggest growth potential

A few years ago, millennials dominated the social landscape. But they are no longer the new savvy internet users on the block. Now, Gen Z has the attention of marketers and publishers alike when it comes to leveraging trends and measuring online behavior. Here’s why it’s crucial for publishers to capitalize on teens’ time spent online and how they can employ strategies to keep their attention.

As of today, 97% of teens say that they use the internet daily, with 46% of teens reporting that they are online almost constantly. That’s a quarter increase since 2014-2015. According to the survey, TikTok and YouTube are the culprits for frequent usage. While TikTok has skyrocketed in popularity, one in five teens says they visit YouTube frequently. 95% have used the platform in 2022 compared to 67% of teens using TikTok. Given these numbers and the fact that they’re fully dominated by video, publishers will have to start taking video format more seriously if they want to maintain audience engagement.

% of U.S. teens who say they ever use any of the following apps or sites.

Since paid media is so integrated into their everyday lives in the forms of streaming services and paid podcasts, Gen Z is also shaping up to be the largest future paying audience for news publications. But they don’t always have their noses stuck in their screens. Out-of-home advertising is still an effective way for publishers to grab readers’ attention while conveying authenticity. And while most Gen Zers prefer to access news from their phones, they aren’t looking to be inundated with political and Covid-19 coverage. By incorporating topics such as climate change and social injustice into content feeds, publishers can maintain teens’ interest.

The channel amassed almost 70,000 followers in less than a year with some of the videos reaching more than 3M viewers.

Above all, more than other audiences, the biggest draw for teens online is information acquisition. Gen Zers are actively looking on platforms like TikTok for information that can help them inform their purchases. Publishers should try to be more present on these platforms to capitalize on this audience’s purchase process.