A new report by the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC) has revealed the consumption habits and preferences of millennials and Gen Zs in Kenya, who make up more than 60% of the population.
The report, titled “Survey on Millennials & Digital Natives’ Consumption Habits and the Implications for Legacy Media in East Africa”, surveyed 400 urban youths aged between 18 and 35 years old, who are relatively highly educated and employed.
The report found that the top three motivations for these youths to consume news are to gain awareness of current issues, to be knowledgeable and to attain their personal goals in life. They also prefer content that is entertaining, attractive, relevant, reliable and affordable.
However, the report also identified some gaps in the media content that these youths consume, especially in terms of addressing their career and life aspirations. The report noted that these youths are ambitious and serious about wealth creation and want more media coverage on topics such as making money and becoming financially independent.
“They noted that news media need to cover more of these two issues, which seem to be in line with their top two career and life aspirations: getting their dream jobs and making money,” the report stated.
The report also suggested that legacy media can leverage their journalists’ reputation and brand credibility to attract these youths, who still rely on TV, radio and newspapers as trusted sources of news. However, the report also highlighted the importance of social media platforms as the first point of news encounter for these youths, who often follow links to legacy media websites from social media.
The report also found that close to half of the respondents have paid for content, mainly for political and current affairs content and entertainment-related content. The report indicated that this is a recent trend, with 50% reporting that they have been paying for content only in the last one year.
“These findings, when looked at against the backdrop of the current subscription rates by media houses in Kenya, suggest that media houses can tap millennials and digital natives’ current spending to offer competitive banquets of content that they can afford,” the report concluded.
The report was conducted by GSMC, which is the premier source of education and tailored training for journalists, communicators and media executives and entrepreneurs in East Africa and beyond. The report aims to provide insights and recommendations for legacy media to better serve and engage with the millennial and Gen Z audiences.