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TikTok Beats Streamers for Under-30 Audience

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

The short-form video app is the epicenter of entertainment for the young-adult audience.

Logos of TikTok, Netflix, Spotify, and other media

How do you unwind after a long day of work? Do you curl up on the couch with a relaxing libation while streaming your favorite series on the flatscreen TV? Or, do you sit and scroll the For You Page (FYP) to catch up with your beloved content creators? If you're under 30, it's mostly the latter.

Newly released data from Variety's "Demographic Divide" and GetWizer shows 31% of folks under 30 choose TikTok as the most entertaining media brand.

  • That's 18% more than YouTube and 14% more than Netflix.

  • And 30% more than the nearest traditional television network (ESPN).

If you're a marketer or media buyer, you might way overspending on TV and way underspending on TikTok.

A social media platform known for user-generated memes, dance routines, and quick bursts of information is outpacing media giants like Disney, NBC, and Fox by more than 30% with the next generations of buyers. And If we dig a little deeper, we can see that 92% of respondents choose digital platforms as their leading choice for entertainment. There's a clear disconnect between traditional media and young people, marking a powerful shift in entertainment. Perhaps this isn't so surprising.

After all, scan any coffee shop, cafeteria, or airport terminal and you'll see countless thumbs swiping up on screens, creating a futuristic rhythm of media consumption.

Yet, this study marks the first time YouTube, Netflix, and other CTV services aren't at the apex of entertainment. It seems like it's the next evolutionary stage in patterns we've been seeing in other age groups for years. There's more emphasis on non-traditional media than ever before.

It's a seismic shift for brands looking to reach their audience and confirms what we already knew: new distribution formats are critical for brands and advertising. To avoid drifting into obscurity or becoming the next addition to "things only 2010s kids remember," brands need to embrace the emerging digital age -- and they need to do it now. With the current Writer's and Actor's Guild strikes, the future of traditional media - and certainly Hollywood - seems incredibly murky. What's more surprising, though, is that the next generation might not even notice it.


This article originally appeared in our weekly Paid Media Insights newsletter. For the most up-to-date news and tips to improve your media strategy, subscribe for free here.

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