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Latest Issue: May/June 18

Gen Z UK’s biggest content consumers

Britons are addicted to digital content, with UK millennials spending 8.5 hours – over half of the average waking day (53 per cent) – reading, watching, liking, creating and sharing content across their devices. For Generation Z, this rises to 10.6 hours, while the UK average is 6.9 hours.

The findings come from Adobe’s latest report into the UK’s content consumption habits, which also revealed that consumers’ favourite way to experience content – whether it’s from friends, family, publishers or brands – is via a smartphone. Polling 1,000 UK consumers, the report found millennials spend an average of 5.2 hours a day consuming content on mobile, rising to 5.9 hours for Generation Z. Over half of those polled (54 per cent) said they used multiple devices at any one time, with 1.8 devices being the average.

The fake news effect

The rise of fake news appears to have resulted in consumers being more sceptical of the authenticity and quality of the content they consume. Three-quarters (77 per cent) of Britons surveyed state that they are more careful about the content they engage with than they were five years ago.

UK consumers are now more likely to engage with content from a trusted source. Three-fifths (58 per cent) would share content from a friend or family member, compared to a third who would share content from a well-known YouTube star (29 per cent), a quarter from a brand they know (26 per cent), and a fifth from a publishing source (19 per cent). But consumers don’t share content that frequently – three-fifths (61 per cent) said they shared monthly, just under half weekly (45 per cent), and a fifth daily (18 per cent).

An opportunity for brands

Adobe’s report found consumers respond strongly to branded content if it provides an authentic, well designed, and relevant experience. Just under half of those surveyed (46 per cent) say that content that provides a good experience would inspire them to make a purchase, a quarter (24 per cent) would share it with their friends, and a fifth (21 per cent) would subscribe to a brand’s email database.

Content that doesn’t meet consumer expectations can have an adverse effect. The biggest gripes of those polled include content that is badly written (49 per cent), irrelevant (44 per cent), and poorly designed (35 per cent). Three-quarters of Britons (71 per cent) state they would not buy a product from a brand if its content demonstrates any of these qualities.

“With the rise of fake news and ‘click-bait’ content, consumers are increasingly looking for engaging content that provides them with an authentic and relevant experience,” John Watton, senior marketing director, Adobe EMEA, commented. “Whether it’s across social, online, blogs, or email communications, branded content has to be well-designed, optimised for the device, and offer a genuine experience that goes beyond selling products. Brands that succeed will drive customer acquisition and loyalty; those that don’t will see customers swipe their screen in search for content that offers them a better experience.”