How Kenyan millennials and Gen Z are shaping the future of legacy media: An analysis of a report on media consumption patterns by AKU media school

  • 5 Jun 2023
  • 3 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Annette Muindi

The release of the report titled “Media Consumption In An Evolving Digital World: Millennials And Digital Natives’ Consumption Habits And Implications For Legacy Media In East Africa” by the Media Innovation Centre at Aga Khan University’s Graduate School of Media and Communications has provided valuable insights into the media consumption habits of Millennials and Generation Z in Kenya.

According to the report, Generation Z are individuals born between 1997 and 2012. This generation was born in a period of enhanced social networking and digital media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, TikTok, and YouTube social platforms being launched in their era. Millennials, on the other hand, are marked by elevated usage of and familiarity with the Internet, mobile devices, and social platforms and were born between 1980 and 1996.

Key findings

The top three motivations to consume news are to gain awareness of current issues/ affairs, to be knowledgeable and to attain their personal goals in life. The report suggested that Gen Z and millennials prefer any content including news and current affairs which is entertaining. Moreover, slightly more millennials compared to Gen Zs are motivated to consume news because of the attainment of personal goals in life.

Millennials and Gen Zs are more concerned about the way they communicate, how they dress and their families and less concerned about their tribes, where they work, their weight and their understanding of current issues. Despite accomplishments in different aspects of their lives, the report also indicated that millennials are ambitious and serious about wealth creation and see the media as not doing enough in terms of providing content that addresses two critical issues in this area: making money and how to become 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 key characteristics that rank highly in their consideration of the content to consume are attractiveness of content, availability and reliability, relevance, and affordability and how interesting the content is.

Even though the millennials and Gen Zs seem to be influenced to consume the content they consume by headlines and peers, the journalists who authored the stories and the reputation of the media house publishing it are factors they consider in the choice of content they consume.

The report further indicates that even though the millennials and Gen Zs would want to consume news, movies, documentaries, sports, telenovelas, and longer in-depth features that give broader context to issues, they reported that they would prefer such content to be empowering, entertaining, and address issues of employment opportunities and business-related topics

Key takeaways from the report

The report’s findings show that opinion on what TV brands need to attract young audiences varies. However, it does appear that millennials and Gen Zs feel that TV brands should focus more on youth empowerment and educative content to attract the youth.

The top four elements that attract millennials and Gen Zs to different radio brands are educative and entertaining news content, credible and reliable news content, updates on current affairs and competent and professional journalists. Further, the report indicates that for radio to attract more youth to its content, stations should work on having more educative and empowering content, make content more entertaining, and work on the content that is big on current affairs.

Newspapers need to work harder to attract advertising about job opportunities. TV is the most trusted media, but most millennials and Gen Zs consume news and media content on mobile phones, which calls for strategies to target millennials and Gen Zs with content that is native to mobile phone consumption.

In a nutshell, media houses can leverage the consumption habits of millennials and digital natives—what they desire to consume more of in legacy media, their current spending habits considering data costs, and their preference for social media as the primary source of news consumption—to strategize content and programming offerings that appeal to the youth and are worth their investment.