April 16, 2020 KahnMedia

COVID-19 Changes in Media Consumption by Generation

Stuck at home, people are consuming vast amounts of media, but the sources they turn to differ by generation. Millennials and Gen Xers are reading more books and literature than Gen Zers and Boomers. Millennials are listening to more podcasts than any other generation, while the biggest increase in broadcast TV viewership is among Gen Xers.

Using data from the Global Web Index, Visual Capitalist created compelling infographics about how COVID-19 has impacted media consumption in different ways among Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers. The results are surprising.

  • Gen Z (16-23 year olds): Leading sources for increased media consumption include online videos (+51%), online TV/streaming (+38%), video games (+31%) and music streaming (+28%).
  • Millennials (24-37 years old): Increase in media consumption is highest for online videos (+44%), online TV/streaming (+41%), online press (+36%), music streaming (+35%) and broadcast TV (+35%) 
  • Gen X (38-56 years old): Media consumption has increased most for broadcast TV (+45%), online TV/streaming (+38%), online videos (+35%) and online press (+31%). 
  • Boomers (57-56 years old): Media consumption has increased most for broadcast TV (+45%), online TV/streaming (+38%), online videos (+35%) and online press (+31%). 

While quarantined, internet activities have increased across the board, with 68% of people spending more time searching for COVID-19 updates, 58% listening to more music, 49% watching more movies/shows (thanks “Tiger King”!), 42% watching more funny videos (we recommend John Krasinski’s YouTube hit Some Good News) and 40% playing more games on mobile devices. But these activities are not embraced equally across generations, as the following graphic summarizes.

If you want to find out how generations differ in terms of how trustworthy they feel certain information sources of information are (e.g., World Health Organization, government websites, word-of-mouth from family/friends, etc.), and how likely different generations are to subscribe to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, The New York Times and other content sources, check out the full article at Visual Capitalist.