The allure of YouTube and other streaming services
As our world becomes smaller, thanks to things like the internet and social media, the way people entertain themselves has changed as well. In the 80’s there were VHS tapes, in the 90’s DVD’s, and the early 20’s was when digital/downloadable movies became available. In the last 10 years, streaming services and self-created content has become all the rage. While Netflix has evolved from its snail mail services, it still cannot compete with streaming services such as YouTube, Instagram, or even Snapchat when it comes to Gen Z users.
Creators and Viewers
There are two things about YouTube that is attractive to the Gen Z user and Netflix doesn’t offer. First, there’s a much wider variety of content on YouTube, some weirder and odder than others. Second, because creators are able to interact with the viewers, it feels more interactive. If you think about it, it’s actually the exact opposite reason why Millennials and other older generations watch TV.
TV in the 80’s and 90’s
Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, it was impossible to avoid face to face conversations. Jobs required people to work together and social events were in-person gatherings. After a long day, hanging out in front of the TV for hours, alone, wasn’t that big a deal. It might even be relaxing!
Human Interaction in the 2000’s
Today, in-person meet ups aren’t the only option that is available out there if you want to socialize. If you’re a bit shy or large crowds of strangers make you uncomfortable, you can stay home and talk to people from your phone or computer. You can even meet and screen dates now! And with remote jobs becoming more and more common, some people can go days without real human interaction.
Caveman Brain in a Modern World
While this sounds like a great option for those who experience social anxiety, it doesn’t get rid of the need for social interaction. No matter how technologically advanced we are (and shy someone is), we still have caveman brains. Humans are social creatures (probably why we get along with dogs) and do things in groups. A lone human is a dead human. That hasn’t changed today.
We all want to belong
Streaming content allows Gen Z members to feel like they are a part of a community. Except this community isn’t your local neighborhood gathering, but a million-member global gathering of viewers who enjoy a creator’s content. Instead of having a network choose what you get to watch, streaming content lets you find what you want to watch. Don’t like anything out there, make your own! No need for big production budgets or investors, all you need is a video camera and internet connection.
Keeping up with streaming services
For services like Netflix to be able to compete with streaming services, something has to change. While companies might focus on the streaming part, they shouldn’t forget about the interactive part. Because human interaction and making connections, no matter what kind, is what we’re all looking for.