With the constant evolution of the media landscape, predicting the next innovative breakthrough can be a feat even with tools such as market analyses, now made easier with AI and big data, that help to provide insights into what may be the next media trend.
The dominance of over-the-top (OTT) platforms is undeniable,with brands such as YouTube and Netflix as prime examples It is estimated that 37% of the world’s users use Netflix, while YouTube currently has almost 1.5 billion users worldwide. The main appeal of OTT platforms is that it delivers a huge variety of content on various devices instantly.With the market getting increasingly saturated with content, audiences now simply don’t have the time nor the interest to watch anything other than what they want to.
This is consistent with research conducted on the younger generation. At the 2018 Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), TotallyAwesome’s Head of Sales and Marketing Michelle Ching presented the results of a sample size study for children in APAC between the ages of 4 - 16. Key findings of the study showed that the Internet trumps in popularity over television and that YouTube is the channel of choice for young viewers.
This was also reiterated in the ATF keynote on ‘Capturing and Connecting to Millennial & Gen Z Audiences’, where Curt Marvis, founder and CEO of Canadian-based media company QYOU, described that ‘these [millennial and Gen Z] audiences are still watching TV, just not through a TV set. Therefore, the content is still relevant to them; it just has to be delivered in a multi-screen way, available whenever, wherever.’
Without a doubt, OTT platforms are big in the market and are being used across generations. However, it is important for creators to remember that content has to be personalised so as to not only achieve reachability but also retention within the right audience. For example, “multi-screening” Gen Z would only respond to bullet-sized unique content and anything else would pass through them.
But fret not, creators; more government initiatives are on the way to help media companies stay at the top of their game. Among the numerous announcements at ATF 2018 were the unveiling of the Media Industry Digital Plan (IDP)—a new framework for media professionals and companies to improve their business capabilities—and the Skills Framework for Media, where industry players will receive guidance on staying relevant in the media landscape.
‘Exciting opportunities await individuals and enterprises in the media industry, especially in our part of the world. To enable Singaporeans to fully benefit from these broad trends, we are investing in skills and talent development, as well as industry partnerships. We look forward to… building a future-ready media industry in Singapore,’ said Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran upon his announcement of the Skills Framework for Media.
And what does this mean for Gen Z itself? For audiences, it means more local and global content options ahead and creators that are eager to appeal to this new market. For Gen Z creators, more doors are opened, presenting a myriad of opportunities to continue exploring what works. And with Asian media attaining more popularity, it’s doubly important to ensure that both the current and future generations of content creators are well-equipped to move forward.
The theme of Gen Z’s potential both as an audience and as creators is perhaps best summed up by panellist Caroline Cochaux, CEO of Gulli & Mezzo, at the ATF panel 360 Kids: The Certainty of Content That Educates, as she explained the importance of distributing the right content for children:
‘After all, we are building the future citizens of our world.’