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Streaming Places: Youtube VS Netflix

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Increasingly popular streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix are eager to win over and maintain the interests of Millennials in the media industry, but who are these Millennials they aim to appeal to and how do they achieve this, if at all? In this report I aim to compare and contrast the two American media-service providers, Youtube and Netflix, and discuss their “rivalry” and individual influences on Millennials as well as any strengths and weakness they acquire and how one may have the edge on this generation more so than the other. I will also be touching on other areas such as the social media impact on this generation.

What defines a consumer as a Millennial? There are many opinions on what makes a person identify as a Millennial and there is no right or wrong answer. You are classed as a Millennial if you were born between the early 1980’s to the mid 1990’s (Moloney, 2017). However, published by the Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of a Millennial is ‘a person who was born in the 1980s, 1990s or early 2000s’. As a child born in the millennium year, I would define a millennial to be a person who was born from the year 2000 and later as this would make sense being the year of the millennium. However, I also think researchers and studies have concluded on their descriptions due to societal patterns and technological growth. As well as the Millennials, there are other generations that we should be aware of. Those who are born within the 60s to early 80s are referred to as Generation X, between 80s and 90s are often referred to as Generation Y and finally Generation Z/Millennials are born between mid 90s to early 2000s. These are identities given to member born within these years and they can be differentiated by one common topic. Technology. Gen Y were brought up on video game systems, cell phones and personal computers, whereas Gen Z had technology such as smart phones and tablets. Generation Y is the new generation after Generation X that can be classified as a person who was born between 1980’s and 1990’s (Mansor, 2013). Whereas, members of Generation X are loosely, people born from 1995 to 2010 (Francis and Hoefel, 2018). Baby Boomers was a name given to the generation of people born following the years of the Second World War. Howe and Strauss allocated the years 1946 – 1964 for this specific generation. They also state that members of Generation Y and Millennials range from the years between the 1980s and the year 2000. According to Pew Research centre, all millennials will be between the ages of 22 and 36 in 2018 (Shugarman, 2018). So why do popular streaming companies such as Youtube and Netflix want to appeal to the millennial generation as opposed to the Baby Boomers generation?

With greater access and understanding of today’s technology, Millennials tend to be more tech-savvy and are widely considered to consume more digital video than the average person (Comscore, 2016). This may be a result of growing up in the generation where these technologies have been created and grown alongside Millennial members. In 2016, it was said that in the U.S alone there are about 80 million millennials, making them larger than any other demographic in the country (Speier, 2016). For any company to be successful, they must target their content to appeal to a large demographic. Netflix and Youtube are two examples of American streaming platforms that would have taken this knowledge into account which is why they aim the vast majority of their content towards the Millennial generation. There are also more Millennials in the workforce than other generations, with an expected $1.4 trillion in disposable income by the year 2020 (Speier, 2016). With the younger demographic being between the ages of approximately 22-36 entering the workforce,

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Why are Millennials so important to large brands when there are plenty of members in older generations willing to pay for their services? Millennials are dealing with student loans, getting mortgages and starting a family so why do companies not aim to invest their time in generations who are rid of student loans, have mortgages and possibly families? With regards to marketing for audiences and consumers, older generations may feel alienated as to why companies are no longer focusing on appealing to them. Despite being in their prime spending years, why are companies targeting the younger audience? Marketers are aware that the Millennial generation is the future for their companies, and they want to hear their voices and ask them “What do you want from us?”. The answer to these questions is that they take into consideration the long-term potential as Millennials have lots of ‘purchasing power’ (Speier, 2016). Brand leaders want to continue their companies for years to come so it is important to appeal to the Millennial generation as they will be the ones to carry it on. However, with this comes a risk as loyal customers to large brands may feel neglected by marketers and this could lose the company business. As millennials enter adulthood and their peak spending years, in a decade Generation Z will likely become the focal point as millennials become older and more established (Speier, 2016). This cycle will most likely repeat for future generations.

Video platforms, such as Netflix and Youtube, are increasingly becoming the preferred choice of how consumers choose to watch entertainment rather than watching it on the television. Why? Because of its convenience. Linking back to how Millennials are often perceived as entitled and lazy and how they have grown up with mobile technology such as phones and tablets, they are able to stream these platforms anywhere which a simple click. Whereas for real-time television, this is harder to do so. Millennials would rather binge watch a series at one time rather than wait weeks for episodes because it is convenient; if they have access to this technology then they will choose to use it. Some may argue this is the beauty of television; it keeps you coming back to want to find out the next part. If Millennials are beginning to replace watching television on the big screens with a smaller one, what could this mean for the future of television?

Netflix, founded in 1997, started as an entertainment company in the US and it specialises in providing streaming media and video-on-demand online. The core business has been media streaming and on demand videos, but, in 2013, Netflix ventured into television and film production, along with online distribution (Mandal, 2017). It has roughly 14 main categories to choose from ranging from Romance movies to Thrillers, Documentaries as well as popular television shows. Netflix gives users a choice of three contracts to pay for its services and it can be from as low as £5.99 a month. An affordable and reasonable price for Millennials some would say. Other than its asking price, what attracts the younger audience? An element of Netflix which makes it so unique is how the streaming service markets their own content with the words ‘a Netflix Original’, an example being the show House of Cards that was Netflix’s first original series on the site in 2013. Many of the film titles include these words which tell its audience that this is exclusive content that can only be found on Netflix, disregarding hard copies and illegal streaming. I would argue exclusivity is an important marketing strategy for attracting audiences such as Millennials as it makes them feel significant. Businesses, like Netflix, can use this to their advantage as it is proven with psychological studies that we feel special when we get ‘in’ with something. Whether that be in a group of people or buying an exclusive materialistic item, it is nice knowing that you have access to something that not everyone will have. Despite how Netflix may now be considered as quite mainstream rather than it being a luxury, having exclusive content that is only accessible to paying customers is what attracts the consumer.

The video streaming space is becoming increasing competitive with popular rivals to Netflix such as Youtube, Hulu and Amazon Prime/Fire TV. Youtube is still the dominant video streaming application consumed on mobile (The Global Phenomena Report, 2018). Having grown up with mobile technology such as smart phones and tablets, Millennials/Gen Z are the target audience for these platforms. More than nine-in-ten Millennials own a smart-phone (Vogels, 2019) make Youtube an easy an accessible service than is free to download and use.

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Streaming Places: Youtube VS Netflix. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/streaming-places-youtube-vs-netflix/
“Streaming Places: Youtube VS Netflix.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/streaming-places-youtube-vs-netflix/
Streaming Places: Youtube VS Netflix. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/streaming-places-youtube-vs-netflix/> [Accessed 9 Dec. 2022].
Streaming Places: Youtube VS Netflix [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2022 Dec 9]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/streaming-places-youtube-vs-netflix/
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