Millennials and Generation Z prefer news outlets to cover social, economic issues and publish content that reflects changes in Kenyan society, a new study by the Aga Khan shows.
The Media Future East Africa study by the university’s Graduate School of Media and Communications reveals that younger media consumers want content that focuses on making money, achieving financial independence and saving money.
The younger consumers are also keen on family needs, having new experiences, buying a home and fulfilment among other topics that they feel should dominate the news cycles.
Millennials comprise people born after 1980 while Gen Z’s, variously referred to as iGen and Zoomers, were born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s.
According to the study, Gen X and their Gen Z counterparts go for content that they consider interesting, attractive and reliable, going against some traditional consumption behaviours.
Other factors that influence their consumption include relevance and affordability.
“The findings indicate that most of the Gen Zs and millennials do not necessarily rank content characteristics such as brevity, exhaustiveness and elaborateness, adequacy, and progressiveness as important aspects of the content that they consume,” the study says.
Majority of the digital and social media natives have also not paid for content, which could pose a challenge for the country’s shift to news subscription business model.
While traditional media consumers subscribe for niche and specialised content, the younger generation are looking for general coverage that address their needs.
“Whereas a majority (52 percent) of the millennials and Gen Zs have never paid for content, those who have (48 percent), acknowledge that they paid for/are paying for trending news, sports news content, general current affairs, political news content and entertainment,” say the study.
The study further says that legacy media make their news more useful to the younger demographic by not only informing them, but also empowering them by addressing issues of employment, business and lifestyle in progressive and entertaining way.
Majority of the surveyed millennials and Gen Zs agree that the news on legacy media platforms is relevant to them; credible, reliable and trustworthy and balanced.
But a significant number have unfavourable perception of legacy media as 41 percent were either indifferent or disagreed with the statement that news in the legacy media is relevant to them as youth, according to the study.
GenXs and Gen Zs comprises about 80 percent of the Kenyan population, making them the biggest share of consumers in the market, according to the Kenyan Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) National Census of 2019.
For most businesses, there have never been a more demanding generations like the late GenXs and Gen Z who are currently entering the workforce and will in coming years form the biggest share of consumers.