What Differentiates Gen Z as Content Consumers?
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Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Give us a little background on Awesomeness. And your definition of Generation Z and what they're all about.
Shelley Zimmerman: Great. I'll start. Awesomeness was founded about seven years ago, by Brian Robbins. And what he saw, as he looked at his own teenage children, was exactly what you're talking about. That YouTube was so important them. The importance of being able, on demand, to get what you wanted. And what he also recognized was, they had their own stars, their own social media influencers, who meant a lot to them.
So inspired by that, he started Awesomeness, which is a digital-first studio, where we make a lot of content, 15 shows a week, for YouTube and other platforms where the audience is-- Instagram, Snapchat. In addition to that, we have a full television and film studio, that's serving longer-form content. Primarily through the streamers, through Netflix and Hulu, to that same audience. And we're creating an entire ecoverse of content, that we wanna be wherever that audience is. And so, we want, if you know, we know they're on Netflix, we wanna be on Netflix. So we're kind of building a brand across all of those different platforms.
Rebecca Glashow: Yeah, so, two-part question, I'll take the second part, which is, who is this audience? I mean technically, they're born 1995 up until now. But it's really the first generation that was born into the internet. They never experienced life without the internet. So fundamentally, their access to information, data, content, has been, you know, transformed by the internet, ultimately smartphones, and the streamers.
And I think what was really brilliant. The founders recognized that, with an audience that's not going out necessarily on cable television, certainly not with linear TV. How do you build a brand that means something to them, for this generation, where we can entertain them, understand them, and have that connection, which is, never existed before really.
Linear TV is a one-way experience, you don't have that engagement, interactivity. This audience feels, not only do they know who their, the talent that they care about, but they expect to engage with the content they consume, engage with their friends, in many cases the talent. And it becomes part of a community.
So I think, for the last seven years, we've built a brand and content IP that's really meaningful to this generation, and this audience, by really respecting that they do love entertainment content, they do love TV, they just were not spoken to or connecting with, what was sort of in the traditional TV ecosystem anymore.
Streaming Media contributing editor Tim Siglin interviews Awesomeness Co-Heads Rebecca Glashow & Shelley Zimmerman at Streaming Media West 2019.