Gen Zers have grown up in the digital age and thus has had unlimited access to the internet since they were very young. Mobile devices, especially smartphones, are the perfect gateway to increasingly digital media consumption. In Germany, 94 percent of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 13 already owned a smartphone in 2021. Today, many zoomers use their smartphones to stream video and audio content, and even to play games online. While many people were spending more time than usual at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is no surprise to see that consumers’ habits were affected. In Italy, a majority of consumers reported spending more time on social networks, streaming movies via streaming platforms, or watching videos on YouTube .
Streaming movies or series via dedicated platforms like Netflix or Prime Video is one of the most popular media activities among European Gen Z. In 2021, 27 percent of surveyed Gen Zers streamed video content several times a day, while a similar share of respondents did so once a day. Streaming audio content has also gained traction among younger consumers, especially podcasts, which have exploded in popularity since the start of the pandemic. In Germany, podcast listening is most prevalent among consumers under the age of 35 and tends to decrease with age. YouTube and Spotify are the listening platforms of choice for many podcast fans.
Video game consumption, which has been on the rise for several years, has also been strongly impacted by the pandemic. Video games are a significant part of the media consumption of European Gen Z, both as players and as viewers. In fact, nearly a quarter of respondents say they play online at least once a day. The growth of platforms such as Twitch has enabled the growth of live streaming of video games. In Poland, more than 30 percent of teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 like to watch people play video games online .