Though Zoomers (Gen Z) are quick to poke fun at Boomers, never before has an age range signified such diametrically opposed habits. Described as the most connected, educated and sophisticated generation ever, the television habits of Gen Z stand out, too.
We heard a lot about generational differences in recent focus groups and we’ll take those learnings to heart when we launch Evoca in Boise this year. The tricky part is understanding how to cater to multi-generations living in the same household, each with discreet tastes.
Generations watch TV in very different ways
Boomers watch more hours of TV and are more likely to subscribe to cable and satellite television services. Though they also enjoy network programming and sports, they stream shows, too. The typical Gen Z watches 3.4 hours of video online each day and consumes shows, movies and other digital content on their phones, tablets and laptops (eyesight is still 20/20, which helps). They don’t consider themselves TV traditionalists, in part, because they have grown up watching streamed shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus, among others.
The generations in between, no surprise, like live and streamed programming. And most still use a traditional television to watch their favorite shows.
They don’t search for programs the same way
Using a channel guide, Boomers tend to search for shows by number, and in fact, often memorize the channel numbers of their favorite show. Zoomers search by show title or content category (Drama, Comedy).
The generations in between like to search by both. Creating a channel guide that makes everyone happy is not an easy task!
Younger folks are leading the way in cutting the cord
Though cord cutting is a popular trend these days, remember that many Zoomers never even grew up with a cord. Cord Cutters are on average 5-10 years older than Cord Nevers, according to Forbes. Cord Cutters are willing to try a new television concept, but also curious to know what programs they’ll be missing without a traditional cable service.
Many tech savvy cord cutters use antennas to stream free content and “hack” the system to view programs, like pro football, they really want to watch (but don’t want to pay for).
Who knew what you could view with antennas?
Boomers appreciate that the term rabbit ears describes vintage indoor antennas used to watch broadcast television. They may, in fact, have had a poor experience with such antennas if broadcast power was inadequate to tune in a high-quality picture. But times have changed, and now most antennas are both attractive and effective. Paired with significant improvements in broadcast technology, antenna television has gained more popularity.
Zoomers don’t associate antennas with adjectives like old-fashioned or defective, in part, because they may not know what antennas are. (Isn’t everything streamed online?).
Free TV can be hard to find
Boomers may know that local channels are free to the public if they use an antenna. What they may not know is that they are paying a broadcast fee to watch them if subscribing to satellite or cable TV. Officially called retransmission fees, cable and satellite companies are required by the FCC to pay a fee to local broadcasters. These service providers, in turn, pass along the fee to consumers. (in fact, the fee in Boise for DishTV is $14/month). The FCC is now considering new legislation that would require OTT providers (like YouTube and Hulu) to pay these fees, too.
We found that many Zoomers aren’t aware of free broadcast tv and even think it’s illegal. After all, who gives anything for free these days?
Next Gen TV, the Evoca way
Evoca’s mission is to keep the price of television service as low as possible to consumers, without gimmicks, contracts and promotional periods. We’ll offer “free” broadcast channels exactly as such – for free! We won’t pass along those pesky fees and then bury them in your bill. Our service will also include paid content we already know you like to watch (we researched that, too).
It’s not a complicated formula, but one that better serves consumers – and their pocketbooks.
Note: Much of the information in this post, beyond secondary research where noted, was gleaned from qualitative and qualitative studies carried out by Evoca.