Gen Z is demonstrating the largest increase in media consumption during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, according to research by GlobalWebIndex across 13 markets.

For example, Gen Z audiences are twice as likely as Gen X and seven times more likely than Baby Boomers to be using audio streaming services like Spotify more.

Well over half (58%) of Gen Z audiences report greater use of social media, compared to half (48%) of millennials, a third (36%) of Gen X and a fifth (22%) of Baby Boomers.

Across the 18 activities monitored, Gen Z demonstrates the greatest increase in consumption in 13 of them (72%). Baby Boomers lead only in watching more linear TV – 51% report this compared to 43% of Gen Z.

Over half of Gen Z consumers report spending longer doing eight different activities. However, the majority of millennials are spending longer in just three activities (watching news, using platforms like Netflix and socialising as a household). This drops to just two activities for both Gen X and Baby Boomers.

Gen Z's greater engagement with social issues means brands should support efforts to tackle the outbreak. Indeed, this age group lacks relevant information and is most likely to want to see brands advertise differently during the crisis. Food chain Chipotle and meditation app Headspace provide two examples of working to support, comfort and distract consumers. DTC brands have the most to gain from the outbreak so larger legacy brands need to be creative and remain connected.


This article is part of a special WARC Snapshot focused on enabling brand marketers to re-strategise amid the unprecedented disruption caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

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