Gen Z over-index for digital sports consumption

19 Mar,2021


By Our Staff

According to MIDiA’s latest report, Sports audiences – The Gen-Z Opportunity, in Q4 2020 17% of 16-19-year-olds watched sports highlights on social media platforms, four times more than over-55-year-olds. This, notes the report, demonstrates both the growing generational divide in sports consumption and the monetisation opportunity that digital highlights now offer rights holders. It offers rights holders insight into how they can innovate and tweak their distribution strategies to provide the highest probability of penetrating this hard-to-reach audience

According to the report, in the same quarter, 71% of traditional consumers of live sports on TV were over 35 years old, while 16-24 year olds were approximately 20 percentage points less likely to consume live sports on TV. This highlights the risk of rights holders underserving this digitally-geared audience and the importance of diversifying broadcast rights strategy. Engaging younger audiences is a way to future proof the product.



Here’s some more from the report:

Digital natives are more likely to consume non-live sports than older, traditional sports fans, which presents rights holders and broadcasters with untapped potential for monetisation by harnessing and actioning this insight.

While the most valuable sports audience currently remains among pay-TV subscribers, planning for meaningful non-broadcast revenues through digital-native engagement is now crucial for pandemic mitigation, as well as addressing the needs of the underserved fans of the future. Catering to and developing a medium to connect with future fans in the Gen Z cohort and beyond, must become a strategic prerogative, to ensure long-term brand sustainability while simultaneously unearthing supplemental revenue streams.

Crucial to this is understanding where sports fit in their media attention and diversifying broadcast strategy to reach them. For example, 16-19 year olds are over twice as likely as general consumers to watch gaming content, engage with Spotify, use Twitch, play multiplayer online games and consume video content on gaming consoles. 16-19 year olds report a significantly higher propensity for using TikTok (50%), Snapchat (67%) and Instagram (73%) than the consumer average.

This highlights the opportunity for digital partnerships and generating organic engagement through official and affiliate accounts through which to deliver content. Understanding that 75% of this demographic engage with Netflix weekly compared to just 24% for Amazon Prime Video provides rights holders with ammunition for why they should opt for licensing original content to Netflix, should reaching Gen Z become a priority for its non-live video content strategists.

Notes MIDiA in the report: “It is crucial to understand where sport fits into Gen Z’s attention ahead of striking distribution partnerships. Sports still has an opportunity to connect with the next-generation sports fan, allowing them to discover something they are able to personalise – but it will require adapting the current format to cater to this audience.”

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