YouTube and Gen Z: What 18 to 24 Year-Olds are Watching Right Now

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Carla Marshall
July 1, 2022
YouTube and Gen Z

While pop culture content has always been a big hit on the platform, YouTube has some insights into what content is appealing to Gen Z right now.

Viewers between 18 and 24 are still invested in entertainment and other popular content but resonate more with creators publishing content relevant to their interests. 

YouTube’s Culture and Trends blog post notes that 65% of Gen Z respondents to numerous surveys have grown up on big viral content “moments.” Now they prefer discussing trends that are more central to their lives.

This generation’s tweens and twenty-somethings have grown up with the Internet, including social video, and are skewing towards much more personalized media that talks directly to their issues and interests. 

While viral mega-clips are going nowhere, the real engagement and bricks-and-mortar of building a community lie in a more authentic and relatable approach. YouTube notes that:

“Individual viral videos that broke through in the past are becoming increasingly less central to trends in a world where audiences and creators prioritize moments that matter to them and their lives.”

Gen Z YouTube Viewers Want the Personal Touch

In 2022, the online video community has more consumers, creators, and content than ever before. Creators are posting long and short-form content across various platforms and finding engaged subscribers, followers, and communities along the way. 

On YouTube, it’s becoming a strategy for a single channel to consolidate different formats like long-form, short-form, and live streaming. 

YouTube confirms that both Gen Z creators and viewers are more aware than ever of the impact of video and the evolution of trends on their demographic.

Digital culture is now all about personally-relevant content. Sixty-five percent of Gen Z responders confirmed that content that resonates with them on a personal level is much more important than trending or viral content.

Post-millennials also place greater importance on their mental health and turn to content that soothes or comforts them. 83% of Gen Z respondents like to chill with ASMR or lo-fi background music from so-called “comfort creators.”

YouTube conducted multiple surveys in more than ten countries and analyzed hundreds of trends to find the impact video has on today’s 18 to 24-year-olds. 

The data provides some real-time feedback for creators who want to build more of a solid connection with their audience. You don’t have to constantly chase virality. You can build success by creating content your viewers care about because it means something to them. 

Carla Marshall Author

Carla Marshall

Carla Marshall is the Content Marketing Manager at TubeBuddy. She has 11+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, & SEO