BLOG published on 08 Oct 2021

My 5 takeaways about connecting with young people through media

My 5 takeaways about connecting with young people through media

As you know, at the EBU we are strong believers in the importance of investing in understanding young audiences to better connect with them. 

The latest EBU Media Intelligence Service report on Digital Media Consumption Trends is packed with valuable insights that could inspire your strategies and planning for the coming months. In this blog article I'd like to share 5 that stood out to me in particular: 

1.  Smartphones are now competing directly with the big screen – and could one day overtake it.

While that may come as no surprise, did you know that in the last 12 months, young people spent twice as much time viewing content on their smartphones than on any other device? It might be a good time to check how mobile-friendly your content is.

2. Videos are more popular than ever – both long- and short-form.

Not only are young people spending more time on their phones, they’re using this time to watch more videos. And surprisingly, while short-form video remains extremely popular on mobile devices, the reach for long-form videos is also increasing.

3. Young people listen to on-demand music more than live radio.

According to this report, in 2020 young people spent even more time on music streaming services than in previous years – and especially on Spotify. In addition, on-demand music was close to outperforming live radio among young people in 2020.

4. You still can – and should – use social media to capture young people’s attention.  

In this report, you’ll be able to unlock concrete data on how each social platform is performing with young people. Did you know that Facebook continues to decline in popularity, but TikTok is having its heyday? And Instagram is the most addictive social media platform. All of them are increasingly present in the video space and, although a live stream feature is also available on all platforms, this report shows us that it doesn’t seem to be used a lot.  

5. Podcasts and e-sports still have a long way to go.

Many of us in the media industry are used to hearing that both podcasts and e-sports are popular with young people. However, when it comes to podcasts, this report points out that music is still the preferred type of audio content among young people – and their own playlists come first. While we like to talk about e-sports, in practice they’re still not that widespread among connected youth.

These are only a few of my own take-aways, but I invite you to read the full report and let me know what your own takeaways are – connect with me at

EBU Members, download your copy of the report.

Want to explore further? Join us at our upcoming eMaster Class: How to Create Impactful News Formats to Engage Gen Z Audiences (2-5 November 2021; register by 1 November).

We’ve also started organizing personalized workshops for individual Members to help them to connect with young audiences. Let us know if you’d like us to organize one for your public service media organization as well.