Justin Jin

Generation Z’s influence on the media will increase further

Generation Z, those born after 1996, are confident about their tech skills but unsure about their readiness for work, research commissioned by Dell Technologies shows. (nd3000; iStock by Getty Images)

Generation Z, those born from 1996 to 2012, constitute a significant part of the globe. Growing up in an era deeply intertwined with technology, this generation is breaking and reshaping the media consumption funnel.

Unlike previous generations, they have grown up with smartphones, social media, and streaming services as integral parts of their daily lives. This shift is evident in their media consumption habits. Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat are primary sources of entertainment and information for Gen Z. They prefer short, engaging content that can be consumed quickly. Streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify are more popular than traditional TV or radio, with Gen Z valuing on-demand access and personalized recommendations. Moreover, Gen Z doesn’t just consume media; they interact with it. Whether through commenting, sharing, or creating their own content, they engage actively with what they watch and listen to.

The rise of social media has democratized content creation, allowing anyone with a smartphone and internet access to become a creator. Many have turned their hobbies and passions into full-time careers as content creators. They use their platforms to highlight underrepresented voices and discuss social issues such as climate change, mental health, and equality. Additionally, Gen Z is experimenting with new formats and storytelling techniques. From vlogs and podcasts to live streams and augmented reality experiences, they are constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional media.

In Canada, Gen Z is making significant strides in media through various innovative and inclusive initiatives. Canadian YouTubers like Lilly Singh and Lauren Riihimaki have garnered international recognition. They use their platforms not only for entertainment but also to advocate for social issues and inspire their audiences. The Canadian government and institutions support digital media innovation through funding and educational programs. This support has enabled young Canadians to access resources and opportunities to develop their media skills. Canadian Gen Z creators are contributing to the country’s cultural landscape by showcasing diverse perspectives and stories, enhancing Canada’s reputation as a hub for creative talent.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recognized the importance of engaging with Gen Z. His government has embraced social media as a tool to connect with younger Canadians on issues that matter to them, such as climate action and social justice. Trudeau’s social media presence, characterized by its approachable and often informal tone, resonates well with Gen Z, reflecting their communication preferences and enhancing their civic engagement.

Similarly, in Israel, Gen Z is leaving a significant mark on the media landscape. Described the “Start-up Nation,” Israel has provided a fertile ground for young innovators. Influencers like Nuseir Yassin, known as Nas Daily, create content that resonates globally. His one-minute daily videos highlight various cultures and social issues, promoting a message of global unity and understanding. Israel invests heavily in STEM education, which empowers young individuals to integrate technology with media production. This investment fosters a generation of media-savvy creators who are adept at using technology to tell compelling stories.

The influence of Gen Z on media is poised to grow even further. As digital natives, they are not only shaping current trends but are also likely to drive future innovations. Their preference for authenticity, diversity, and engagement will continue to redefine media landscapes globally. They’ll keep setting trends that prioritize real, relatable content over polished perfection.

About the Author
Justin Muen Jin is a Canadian video producer and entrepreneur. He researches and writes on media and technology, and profiles people who are changing the world around them.