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NEW DELHI : Gen Z appears to have binge-watched more streaming content than millennials in the free time they had on hand during the covid-19 lockdown. At 4.45 hours of content consumption daily, Gen Z (born between 1980s and early 2000s) beat millennials (born between 1990s and early 2010s) who managed only 3.66 hours, shows a new study.

According to the study by the Data Sciences Division of advertising conglomerate Dentsu Aegis Network titled Now Streaming: The Indian Youth OTT Story -- streaming was the popular form of entertainment among Gen Z and millennials during the lockdown with 70% of the respondents admitting to watching Video-on-Demand (VoD) and only 20% taking to gaming.

The study was conducted among 570 respondents in urban India, including the top eight metros with 78.5% of the sample classified as Gen Z and 21.5% as millennials. More than half, i.e. 52.2% of the respondents were females and 36% were employed.

The study noted that people have an innate tendency to seek external emotional stimuli. “At a time where there is lack of it due to covid inflicted isolation, a tendency of seeking this external stimulus from other sources has emerged. This has led to a binge-watching culture to develop – which is basically the long spanning consumption of digital content (usually a single show)," it said.

As per the study, 5% of the respondents claimed to consume between 6-12 hours of daily content on OTT platforms before the lockdown commenced. However, the figure quadrupled following lockdown, with 20% of the people claiming to a transition from being “casual watchers" who consumed roughly 2-6 hours of daily content to now being categorized as binge watchers due to them spending a lot more time on OTT platforms.

Amazon Prime Video remained the most preferred entertainment platform (30.6%) followed by Netflix (29.6%) and Hotstar (18.07%) among those surveyed. As many as 60% of the respondents had subscriptions to either Amazon or Netflix or both.

On the content side, comedy remained the most popular genre (16.5%) followed by thriller (13%), crime (12.5%) and action (12.10%). TV shows were lapped up across age groups and geographies, in north India, 43% of Gen Z and 52% of millennials remained glued to them. In south India, the figure hovered around 47% for Gen Z and 45% for millennials.

Spanish crime drama Money Heist and American series Breaking Bad, both on Neflix and Amazon’s India original Pataal Lok were the most loved web shows of the lockdown for the youth while Taapsee Pannu-starrer Thappad, comedy drama Gulabo Sitabo and American romantic drama Five Feet Apart were the most popular movies.

While the number of new OTT subscriptions spiked throughout the country across demographics, the research revealed that millennials and Gen Z purchased two and three additional OTT platform subscriptions respectively since the start of the lockdown. Further, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have a stronger grip in the south while north India is more receptive of upcoming regional OTT platforms.

“While a large chunk of India is a single TV household, affordable data and advancements in mobile technology has been a huge boost to the country’s growing online content and gaming consumer base. This, coupled with the effects of the lockdown has led to the dramatic growth of online video content consumers and gamers with a high increment of audiences coming from a very young segment of the population," Gautam Mehra, CEO, DAN Programmatic and chief data officer, DAN - South Asia said in a statement.

Overall, the OTT industry is anticipated to grow 45.5% between 2019 and 2026.

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