BRAVO: Media Usage Study on Gen Z

Anyone who believes that a teen’s gaze only goes in one direction – namely towards the screens of their smartphones – is at least partially mistaken. This was demonstrated by the results of the BRAVO Media Usage Study 2018. A total of 863 teenagers aged 10 to 19 were surveyed online. They were asked about which media they use, how often, and for which topics specifically. In summary, based on the findings, it can be said that the media landscape for both boys and girls actually extends much further, and they are much more selective in terms of information gathering than one might commonly assume.

TV On A Par with Internet and Social Media

Right at the beginning of the analyzed survey results, the 2018 BRAVO Media Usage Study brings forth a rather significant surprise: Indeed, 67 percent of girls and nearly half, 48 percent, of the surveyed boys read books. Thanks to Greg’s Diary and Harry Potter, perhaps?
The clear majority of teenagers use social media, closely followed by the internet (92 percent and 83 percent) – not an unexpected result. However, newspapers are significantly behind (with 25 percent and 35 percent). Traditional media such as TV and radio, on the other hand, are used by over three-quarters and two-thirds of young users.

Information Sources Vary Depending on the Topic

Anyone who believes that teens solely rely on their own social media feeds for all the information they need, obtained through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, is at least very mistaken, if not greatly mistaken, according to the BRAVO Media Usage Study 2018. Even though social networks, for example, are the number one source of information for fashion tips, at least for girls, magazines follow closely behind in second place. However, newspapers, radio, and TV have no chance of becoming the first, second, or even third choice for fashion tips.

Similar patterns emerge in media usage when it comes to beauty tips. Here too, social media and magazines dominate, at least among girls. Whether boys consider themselves attractive enough or manage matters of beauty and fashion via word-of-mouth remains uncertain. With nearly 73 percent of male teens stating that they don’t use media for beauty tips (or 52 percent for fashion), one might almost presume so.

As for news, television clearly dominates as the number one source of information for both girls and boys. Social media, on the other hand, along with the internet, are each used by just over a third to get their regular dose of news. Even the airwaves (radio), are used by more than half of them to stay informed. And newspapers, even more so among boys than girls, are a popular source of information. Particularly reassuring: Only 5 percent of girls and 3 percent of boys don’t use any media to stay up-to-date with the news.

Messengers on the Rise

Given that mobility is an essential part of the DNA of Generation Z, it’s no wonder that 99 percent of the girls surveyed by BRAVO and 96 percent of the surveyed boys own a smartphone. What do they do with it? Naturally, they exchange messages via WhatsApp. For now, 90 percent of girls and 86 percent of boys consider the messenger app indispensable, albeit with different tendencies compared to the past three years and between genders.
In terms of the second most popular social media apps, there’s a divide between female and male teens. While girls prefer Instagram at 74 percent, accounting for over two-thirds, boys opt for YouTube at an equal 74 percent. Snapchat comes in third with 54 percent, at least among girls, and Instagram among boys (62 percent). Surprisingly, Facebook only manages to secure fifth place, with a steep decline in popularity since 2015.

What the Videoplattform!?

Do we really need to answer the question of which video platform is used most frequently, or can we answer differently from YouTube? Apparently not, as evidenced by the results of the BRAVO Media Usage Study 2018. 91 percent of girls and 94 percent of boys check out YouTube at least once daily. In second place, it’s not Twitch, Vimeo, MyVideo, or YouNow, but “others.” This category includes Netflix and Instagram.

YouTube isn’t just the king of video platforms; it’s also the starting point for “chases” across and through social media. Because no matter where the beloved YouTube stars may roam (hot tip: Instagram and Snapchat are good addresses), they will be found.

However, YouTube stars should beware! If their videos become too boring, childish, adult, or a mixture of all, or if product placements become too prevalent, YouTube subscriptions might quickly be terminated.

Generation Z doesn’t seem to mind or hardly mind if products are placed in videos. At least, that’s what over half of both boys and girls say. On the other hand, about a third of both genders feel disturbed by it. Only about a tenth of respondents claimed not to have noticed yet that their YouTube stars place advertisements in some videos. Clever media professionals indeed.

Finally, other interesting results of the study focus on the topic of influencers. In summary, it can be said that 84 percent of teenagers follow influencers. The most well-known among them are Bibis Beauty Palace, Dagi Bee, and Lisa and Lena among girls, and Mario Götze, Julien Bam, and – believe it or not – Bibis Beauty Palace among boys. The answer to why teenagers follow influencers, especially on YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, clearly favors entertainment value, role modeling, and inspiration – also for brands and products. After all, 2 percent of girls and 6 percent of boys stated that the influencers they follow are useful for homework. Whether as a welcome distraction or actually as a study aid, unfortunately, we haven’t found out.

Source: BRAVO Media Usage Study 2018 / Bauer Media Group