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How to drive Generations Y and Z back to traditional media

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Traditional medias have a huge problem to get in touch with the Y and Z generations, which both have their own media consumption habits. A recent initiative launched by Egmont, a UK-based press house focusing on children, brings a possible solution to this difficult problem.

A new magazine format for Generations Y and Z

Egmont just launched a new magazine entitled Oh My Vlog ! which is dedicated to famous YouTubers, those guys like Tanya, Alfie or Zoë who attract millions of viewers on their YouTube channels. Unlike traditional stars, YouTubers have emerged from anonymity solely through virality. A part of this virality is certainly due to their talent, another to their capacity to be different and their ability to leverage the power of social media.

The initiative by Egmont is innovative because it extends one format (YouTube videos) into the oldest of all medias: paper-based magazines. Similar extensions, less innovative however, were started in the past to include YouTubers into regular TV shows. The problem is that younger generations are less and less interested in watching traditional TV.

Today’s challenge: find profitable niches

Finding new niches to attract youngsters is an incredible challenge for traditional medias. This is even a question of survival of paper-based ones. The monetization of digital content has failed for most of them (because it was not backed up with a real marketing strategy) and they are forced to address profitable segments if they want to avoid sinking. But even when you target specific segment, the challenge still remains, as the recent bankruptcy of gay magazine Tetu shows.

Younger generation prefer democratic media channels

This “trend” to craft new formats around YouTube stars reveals the incapacity of traditional medias to understand Gen Y and Z. Recipes used in the past don’t work anymore; TV used to “manufacture” stars and force a captive audience to like them. Repeating the same message and show the same faces over and over again was sufficient. But the social media revolution made their task more complicated, even more since advertising revenues are moving from traditional TV to social medias. In 2014, advertising expenses are expected to decline 4%. With less revenues traditional TV had to open up the door for new talents to emerge. This started, among others, with shows like The Voice, XYZ Got Talent, … and all the hype around cooking that enabled new talents to emerge. In a way, TV industrialized the talents emergence process. But it still remained a suspicious process lacking credibility, hence pushing Gen Y and Z to other, less “biased” channels like YouTube where really everybody seems to have his/her chance.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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