The pace at which the Gen Z’s tastes and preferences change can seem too fast for the market to keep up. The consumers that belong to this generation, who right now in 2021 are between the ages of 16 and 24, come with a completely different set of behaviors than those of their predecessors, the Millennials.
Millennials experienced the transition from analog to digital, thanks to the massification of personal computers, smartphones, and other personal devices. But the Gen Z was basically born online, with almost all parts of their lives being experienced digitally, and the phenomenon will only increase in the coming years as technologies like 5G and virtual or mixed reality become more mainstream.
While the standard for their academic and professional lives is to be almost exclusively digital –and have been increasingly so due to the physical restrictions of the ongoing pandemic–, the way the Gen Z experience sports and entertainment still has a lot of room for experimentation, mainly in three areas:
- Duration: the Gen Z’s online behavior shows they are able to exercise both short and long attention spans, depending on the way they are engaged. For example, they usually have an 8-second attention span for short-content platforms, like TikTok or Instagram, but they’re also able to be gaming for up to three or four consecutive hours, according to a study from Nielsen.
- Format: while being engaged with reactions and comments during a live event, Gen Z consumers can also seamlessly be active in other social media to interact with other fans, their sports idols and even their favorite sports brands. Picture a 360 VR/AR experience of an in-stadium event, or a one-on-one, real-time chat with an athlete.
- Variety: their distance from tradition in terms of gender roles makes the Gen Z sports consumers attracted to a larger variety of sports than their predecessors. For example” surfing, extreme sports, martial arts and basketball are more popular among Gen Z than Millennials, who preferred soccer or football.
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