CASSANDRA REPORT DIGEST: Generations Y & Z Still Value Traditional Media
Research and insights from our latest Cassandra Report
Media / 11 Mar 2014

Generations Y and Z, having grown up online, are the biggest users of new media. But, at the same time, their nostalgic tendencies drive them toward traditional media, as evidenced by the recent resurgence of vinyl records, cassettes, and VHS tapes. While digital content is often more convenient and compact, our digital-focused Cassandra Report reveals that 14- to 34-year-olds aren’t abandoning all old-school formats.

Print Magazines: Two-thirds of respondents in our study prefer to read print magazines over digital versions. Despite the countless claims that publications need to adapt to stay relevant, most print magazines are outselling their digital counterparts. That’s not to say magazines are thriving today, but young people still favor the original format since it allows them to unplug. As interest in glossies persists among the younger generations, Newsweek just returned to print and dozens of new publications have emerged in the past few years. Magazines may have more staying power than people think, as 59% of respondents would rather read one than a blog.



Physical Books: Seventy-two percent of Cassandra Report respondents prefer physical books over ebooks. Having an actual library provides aesthetic value and allows people to show off their taste. And as many readers consider books sacred collectibles, the format has held out in the digital age. Moreover, as young people spend so much time staring at screens, printed books, just like magazines, offer an escape. Recent data reaffirms our findings and, even as ebook readership grows, print still remains most popular. Most people who read ebooks also read physical books, suggesting that the tactile feeling of holding a book and turning the page can’t be replaced.




TV Sets: In our survey, seven in 10 respondents say they prefer to watch TV on their TV set than on their laptop or mobile device. Watching on an actual TV caters to Ys’ and Zs’ desire to multitask, since they can use their second and even third screens simultaneously. This doesn’t necessarily mean young consumers favor live TV, although the majority still have cable. Yet, given how easy it is to stream content through their set, they prefer to watch on a bigger screen. This also makes communal viewing easier, whereas watching on a portal device can be lonely, especially when binge viewing.




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