Audience Strategies for Millennials and Gen Z

People ages 16 to 40 make up a growing portion of news consumers and subscribers. The Audience Community of Practice met on Wednesday, May 17 to discuss audience strategies for Millennials and Gen Z.

The Media Insight Project, a collaboration of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute, published an in-depth analysis on these news consumers in November 2022. Kevin Loker, director of strategic partnerships and research at the American Press Institute, joined the session to share insights from the report, which outlines how these generations follow and interact with information critical for both their personal lives and how we function collectively as a society.

Key takeaways:

  1. Start with behaviors and sentiments: Millennials and Gen Z are actively engaged with news, but they are also fatigued and concerned about the spread of misinformation.
  2. Know social media’s dominance: Social media use is high, especially with visual platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, and platform use varies across demographics.
  3. Recognize that people follow different news topics in different ways: Millennials and Gen Z closely follow “hard news” and “news you can use.” Older audiences tend to skew toward national issues, and younger audiences care more about social issues.
  4. People pay for and donate to media — but traditional sources less so: Millennials and Gen Z are twice as likely to pay for content from independent creators as opposed to newspapers, but even most payers “bump” into news rather than seek it out.

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