Broadcasters Must Adapt Quickly To Keep Gen Z Engaged In News: Study

New research from Vizrt finds that 64% of Gen Z (64%) consume news on social media, showing the necessity for broadcasters to consider how to harness viewers’ attention on these platforms with live production solutions.

Vizrt, a provider of real-time graphics and live production solutions for content creators, releases new research signifying a shift in the viewing habits of Gen Z when it comes to news consumption.

As the first generation born into a fully digital world, this age group according to a new global study is no longer interested in traditional news formats where dynamic on-screen graphics are underutilized.

The research shows a stark shift to social-first content formats, with the majority of Gen Z now opting to consume news on social media; with Instagram (60%), TikTok (38%) and Facebook (38%) identified as the most popular sources for keeping up to date with news and current affairs.

The intensity of news cycles, volume of negative stories and a growing loyalty in social first news brands are also broadly cited as reasons behind the significant shift in viewing habits.

Ulrich Voigt, Vizrt global head of product management, said: “Our research highlights the importance of real-time data and on-screen graphics in retaining Gen Z and futureproofing newsroom content creation. Content creators, traditional broadcasters and newer online news outfits, must adapt to meet the evolving needs of news consumers as each generation becomes more digitally advanced. Immersive storytelling with AR and XR can quickly and easily break down barriers to news accessibility and drive audience engagement.”

On-Screen Graphics Considered Essential For Broadcasters 


The global report of thousands of U.K. and U.S. respondents commissioned by Vizrt examined how Gen Z consumes news in comparison to other generations and revealed a significant reliance on on-screen graphics among the younger generation.

Gen Z is twice as likely to pay attention to content with on-screen graphics in comparison to other generations (31% vs 14% average of other generations), helping them to understand complex stories (51% Gen Z vs 42% average) read data clearly (48% Gen Z vs 46% average), and receive additional information not otherwise shown on screen (54% Gen Z vs 50% average).

Gen Z Demands Social-First Formats   

Despite Gen Z opting to consume news content on their phones, broadcasters are yet to adapt to meet their digital needs.

Over half (56%) of those aged 18-25 find it challenging to watch content in this format due to horizontal content not being adapted for vertical viewing.

Another issue faced by almost half of respondents (45%) is the lack of on-screen graphics when watching content on the go.

Vizrt reveals its research on the newsroom consumption habits of Gen Z and millennials after sharing research on the changing viewer habits of Gen Z and millennial sports fans earlier this year.

The main findings of both studies “prove that social media consumption via mobile phones is on the rise, and attentions are won over with engaging visual graphics regardless of demographic, whether it is news or sports,” Vizrt said.

To read the full results of the future of the newsroom study, click here.

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Dave Kovic says:

December 18, 2023 at 7:37 pm

Nothing new here. I think broadcasters knew much of this already. But the industry can’t make the same dollars as selling broadcast air. So what to do?