How do publishers make sure they stay relevant for the next generation of readers? The GEN Z digital addicted (born after 1999) have been given the label ‘Blink, Share, Laugh, Forget' when it comes to consuming content. Here are some interesting facts about these future clients that every publisher should know.
Facts about Generation Z
Average attention span – 8 seconds. Interestingly, despite this short attention span (which is shorter than Millennials), Gen Zer’s still demands authentic, engaging content. They simply want it faster. Studies also show that once a Gen Zer finds content that interests them, they will remain engaged longer than Millennials. It’s all about how information and content are delivered.Their “go to” apps are not Google or Safari, but Instagram and Snapchat.
For them, it’s all about visual content (Video, VR, AR)They spend an average of 6 hours a day on their screens.Like all other generations, they are enamored of storytelling which could be a way into their world for the savvy publisher.They are well aware of digital overload and are searching for ways to “switch off” for a time. This should give publishers an opportunity to connect with them providing they embrace their culture and tastes.
Ways to Engage with Generation Z
VR and AR are being used to reinvent and enhance storytelling; with the Goodnight Lad Book, for example, you can place your smartphone over the book and the characters dance on the page.Samsung has developed what they are calling the ‘future of children’s bedtime’; an interactive VR storytelling experience for parents who live somewhere else or are away at work. Hooked, which has been downloaded nearly 2 million times, is a true success story. Marketing itself as ‘fiction for the Snapchat generation’, it provides bite-size suspense thrillers to teenagers in the form of text messages (Amazon has recently launched its own version: Create Interactive Multimedia Stories.Oolipo describes itself as a story beyond eBooks is another app that can create interactive multimedia stories.
It’s little wonder that companies such as JP Morgan and other Multinational companies are starting to recruit via Snapchat.
Some publishers will have a hard time believing that these new approaches can be sustained, or can even be called literature. Maybe it’s not the be-all, end-all to reaching Gen Z just as the retro movement to Vinyl (for Millennials) has not been the mass market success it once was. But it has found its place and has added listeners and revenue to the companies that have adapted.
eBooks have never lived up to their hype and are declining in popularity and sales as compared with print books. One reason is that they haven’t created anything new or engaging.
If publishers get this right who knows where it can lead. All I know is that keeping the status quo will not work with future generations as technology exponentially progresses and choices for the consumption of content increases.