The newest base of consumers advertisers should get to know are known as Generation Z and they make up roughly 25% of the population, consisting of one of the largest generations so far. Their media consumption habits differ from previous generations as Gen Z does not know a world without technology, enabling them to adapt quickly and embrace new digital developments. Another major differentiation with this tech savvy generation is the way they listen to radio.
Gen Zers overwhelmingly prefer connecting to the radio through streaming services in addition to other audio platforms like Spotify and Pandora. These digital platforms offer more music options and shows than ever before. Although Gen Zers aren’t consuming radio in a traditional way, doesn’t mean they aren’t listening, as radio reaches 88% of Gen Z weekly. While this generation can discover a new artist, band or song through a configured playlist on Spotify or Pandora, they tend to reconnect through the radio. Since radio provides a more personal connection, whether that be through on-air live interviews, events and special artist giveaways, this is something Spotify and Pandora are unable to sponsor in real-time.
Comparatively, AM/FM radio currently plays a smaller role in Gen Z’s lives than it does in their parents, but some researchers theorize this is because they are not adults and in a different stage of their lives. Yet, two-thirds of Gen Zers report discovering new products, movies and events by actively listening to the radio. In order to capture Gen Z listeners, radio stations like the iHeart community have already adapted their own on-demand streaming app, which consists of traditional radio and podcasts so Gen Zers can listen anytime, anywhere.
What is clear is that these young adults care about connecting through digital formats on their own terms. Streaming radio apps provide an opportunity for traditional radio to connect with Gen Zers whether it is through their Amazon Alexa in their living room or through their smartphone on their way to class. Radio, a more personal medium, can only continue to fonder a stronger relationship with Gen Z, as long it can keep up digitally.