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Research: Gen Z More Impacted and Influenced by TV and Streaming Than by Social Media

NEW YORK, May 14, 2024 -- Compared to social media, TV and streaming content has a greater impact on Gen Z viewers' emotions, engagement and actions. That is the chief takeaway of a new report, Laugh, Cry, Share, Buy: How TV & Streaming Influences Gen Z More Than Leading Social Platforms, released by the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB). In the report, VAB presents in-depth data, analysis and insights, based on independent research conducted in partnership with Hub Entertainment Research.

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"Often headlines would have you believe social media is the-end-all-be-all for reaching Gen Z. But here's what we found: TV and streaming content excels in engaging Gen Z audiences, often surpassing social channels in both impact and influence," said Danielle DeLauro, Executive Vice President, VAB. "While, at the end of day, streaming and social media ultimately complement each other, the emotional connection that streaming evokes is undeniable. The platforms and brands that make the conscious decision to continue leaning into that connection will be the ones primed to drive the most engagement, sales and importantly, brand loyalty among these young customers."

Among the report's findings:

  • Rich narratives and complex characters in TV and streaming content hit differently for Gen Z, evoking strong emotions through authenticity: Gen Z viewers are 42% more likely to have cried because of something they watched in TV or streaming content versus TikTok content.
  • Gen Z is intentionally carving out time to enjoy binging their go-to TV and streaming content: They are 40% more likely to set aside time to enjoy their favorite premium video content versus YouTube content.
  • Gen Z shoppers are more influenced to buy clothing from TV and streaming shows than by social media influencers: They are 51% more likely to purchase clothing similar to what a character, actor or personality from premium video content wore versus YouTube content.

Read the report here.

The Video Advertising Bureau (VAB)—whose members include the national TV networks alongside a broader community of influential media companies—plays a dual role in the video advertising industry. VAB is fiercely advocating for the changes that bring about a more innovative and transparent marketplace. VAB also provides the insights and thought leadership that enables marketers to develop business-driving marketing strategies. Visit VAB online and access its continuously growing content library at

Media contact: [email protected]