Gen-Z Will Account for 40 Percent Of All Consumers By 2020

The teens of today are set to influence nearly $4 billion in spending in just a few short years. Here's what marketers need to know.

The advertising industry is quick to associate Gen-Z with “teens,” but this generation is growing up fast: By 2020, Gen-Z will account for 40 percent of all consumers and influence nearly $4 billion in discretionary spending, according to new research from MNI Targeted Media, a division of Meredith Corporation.

As with Millennials, the Gen-Z adults of tomorrow are too multitudinous and diverse to assert that they are alike in all significant ways. But several of the report’s findings might come as a surprise to marketers looking to engage these consumers as the come into their full purchasing power. One such stat: A full 83 percent of Gen-Zers turn to newspapers (both online and offline) for trusted information and content, and 34 percent turn to magazines.

Coming of age in the era of “fake news” and the 24-hour news cycle, it stands to reason that this socially conscious demographic would turn to established sources of records (for example, The New York Times) for information — and that they would do so using whatever platform is easiest for them in the moment, whether that is via a publication’s app, on the mobile web, or on desktop. This is key for brands to keep in mind as they plan their marketing budgets and allocate spend.

“Gen-Z is influential in ways we are just beginning to see. They’ve spent their lives surrounded by digital content and they know how to filter anything that lacks the right tone, language, and relevancy,” MNI Targeted Media said in a statement. “They are a generation driven by values, with 68 percent identifying that doing their part to make the world a better place is important to them, and this directly impacts their buying behavior.”

Other findings from the report include:

  • Gen Z uses streaming audio (4.8 hrs./week), social media (4.6 hrs./week), streaming video (4.2 hrs./week), websites (4.2 hrs./week), and magazines (1 hr./week).
  • Streaming video (55 percent), newspapers (44 percent), digital video (42 percent), and magazines (34 percent) are the types of media respondents use without interruption most often.
  • 47 percent appreciate relevant ads and 44 percent expect ads to be relevant to them.
About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.