The stark future facing traditional media is laid clear by the degree to which consumers consider social media brands and Netflix to be entertaining versus TV.
New data from VIP+s “Demographic Divide” collaboration with insights expert GetWizer highlights just how disruptive new media has been to the landscape, as well as how the slowness to respond has cost TV networks valuable brand equity.
This is most clearly demonstrated when looking at which brands young adults consider to be most entertaining. TikTok accounts for almost one-third of all votes for the most entertaining brand, with YouTube second at one in five — the order of the top two flipping from what children think — with Netflix the only other brand to see a large proportion of viewers considering it most entertaining.
In total, the three upstart digital brands account for 66% of the most entertaining in media. It’s worth noting just how dominant Netflix is compared with other major streamers, as well as how far down the totem pole major TV brands are in the minds of younger consumers.
TikTok’s brand dominance is limited to younger consumers, as it slips to third place among adults 30-44, behind YouTube and Netflix, with half the score it saw among 15-29s (15% for most entertaining versus 31%). Facebook also becomes more popular — rising to 9% — among the generation who were in their early 20s or teens when it first appeared.
ESPN is the only TV brand to be in the top 10 most entertaining, with four seeing zero consideration.
YouTube, Netflix and TikTok remain the most entertaining brands to adults 45-59, but the proportion considering TikTok as such continues to roughly halve between generations (31% 15-29, 17% 30-44, 8% 45-59). Yet it is essential to note that TikTok continues to see more people say it’s their most entertaining source than any streaming service other than Netflix and all TV brands we measured.
It's likely no surprise that broadcast networks perform best among the oldest group of adults VIP+ analyzed (60 or older), with only Netflix and YouTube coming in higher than CBS and ABC and Prime Video at the same level as Fox, beating out many other streaming services.
But this still raises the issue that one-third of those 60+ think YouTube or Netflix are the most entertaining brand for them. Of particular note is the fact that this is the only age group to put Netflix ahead of YouTube when ranking the most entertaining.
What this means for entertainment is the current and future landscape will be radically different from that of yesterday. The decision to lean into Netflix in the late 2000s to make a quick buck from licensing streaming rights for content will surely be considered one of the most shortsighted in history, as this is what enabled Netflix to draw in enough consumer attention to launch streaming originals.
If TikTok can avoid serious censorship from federal authorities, it will continue to play an important role in entertainment. And it will be increasingly critical for traditional brands to lean into newer distribution formats with original content, or else risk irrelevance.