Where are the youth audiences now?

Posted Tuesday 29 Nov 2022

Where are the youth audiences now?

The findings from NZ On Air’s Where Are The Audiences research have laid down a challenge for local content makers.

The industry benchmark research this year homed in on 15-24 year olds and the combined findings reveal a picture of young people largely not spending time on the local platforms where they might discover local content. Many have preconceived ideas that these platforms are for older audiences, and that the content isn’t going to appeal to them.

NZ On Air Chief Executive Cameron Harland says the research comes at a critical time for local platforms and content makers.

“We’ve been observing the trends of young audiences going to digital and global platforms for several years and wanted to gain a deeper understanding of what’s driving this so we can work to attract them to local content.”

“We know that young Kiwis are missing out on great local content that’s being made by, for and about them. There are clearly reasons for this, but what’s really encouraging is that when they are shown a range of local content they weren’t previously aware of, they love it,” says Mr Harland.

Some of the key points of the research are:

  • Each day less than one in three 15-24 year olds watch TV, local on demand sites or listen to the radio – media where they will have a better opportunity to engage with NZ content. Instead they are predominantly on social media, overseas online video sites, SVOD and playing online games.
  • TVNZ platforms have the greatest reach of local platforms – together TVNZ 1 and 2 reach 21% of 15-24s and 18% view TVNZ +. Local online news sites have much lower reach with this age group – The NZ Herald has highest reach at 10%.
  • Most engage with local shows or music several times a week, and feel more proud to be a Kiwi when they do.
    • 8 in 10 enjoy seeing NZ places and faces on shows, but less than half agree NZ shows reflect them or their lives.
    • Three-quarters say NZ music makes them a little more proud to be a NZer, but 7 in 10 also think international music is better.
  • Their media choice is influenced by their perceptions of local providers being skewed to older audiences, and less positive perceptions of local content.
    • They have negative pre-conceptions about local content – but when shown a range of local content they were impressed by the quality, range and relatability.
  • Word of mouth, social media and streaming service algorithms are how they discover new shows – in music TikTok is third most used platform for discovery after streaming service algorithms and word of mouth.

Click here to read more from NZOA and for the full report