6 Second Screen Habits To Know

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Second-screen experiences are the default way that Gen Z experiences television. Keeping Gen Z engaged means adopting second-screen thinking. The first step to meeting Gen Z’s expectations is understanding their current habits.

What The Gen Z Second-Screen Experience Looks Like

Surveys find that the majority of Gen Z Internet users – between 85% to 89% – use a mobile device while watching TV. That raises the question: what are Gen Z TV viewers using the second screen for?

1. Social Media

Gen Z audiences are often described as social natives. They’ve never known a time without social media. Their favorite social platforms include YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Facebook.  

Gen Z Social Media

Keeping Gen Z engaged with TV starts with aligning your TV and social media presence. Start by aligning your TV schedule with social media. As Gen Z watches your TV show, your social media accounts should release new information, quotes, images, clips, and more to keep Gen Z engaged.

2. Chat and Messaging

Gen Z also loves chatting and messaging with their friends and family. Texting and chatting with companies for support is a popular way for Gen Z to engage. Almost half (44%) of Gen Z check text messages within a minute of receiving them. 

Gen Z Chat Messaging

Gen Z’s passion for chat is starting to carry over to the workplace. Wipro, an IT company, recently revealed that 10% of its 260,000-person workforce doesn’t check email “even once a month.” The Gen Z preference for chat over email isn’t absolute, so email still has a place. However, shifting more resources to chat and messaging experiences is a vital part of connecting with Gen Z.

Adding live chat to your website is a great option to meet Gen Z’s chat preferences. Arena Live Chat is fast, mobile-friendly, and easy to set up. Choose a live chat solution that lets you quickly set up and launch a chat session to capture Gen Z viewers. 

Want to go even deeper with your fans? Host a special event with celebrity guests! Actors, athletes, and other notable people are showing up for online interviews, Reddit sessions, and more. Offering a moderated chat session with a special guest right the same day as a TV event is a powerful way to keep Gen Z focused on your brand. 

Download our white paper “Generation Z and the Rise of the Second Screen” and transform your engagement strategy today.  

3. Playing Games

While watching TV, many Gen Z audiences love to pick up a mobile game. 

Like TV, gaming comes in multiple genres which appeal to different people. Gen Z’s top 10 most popular games include several action titles like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Red Dead, and Halo). However, Minecraft is the number one most popular title for Gen Z. 

Gen Z Playing Game On Mobile

From a second-screen perspective, it’s essential to know that most (86%) of Gen Z use their mobile devices to play games. The most popular mobile game genres include action-adventure, puzzles, and role-playing. 

Your approach to adapting to Gen Z’s passion for gaming will depend on your goals and capabilities. One option is exploring partnerships with successful games – like Gucci in Roblox and Balenciaga in Fortnite. 

If direct involvement in gaming isn’t a good option, there are other options. Get educated about the most popular games, the trending memes and look for ways to include those themes in your online experiences. 

You also can create gaming experiences through chat. For example, host a trivia contest in the lead-up to a finale of a buzzy series like “Last of Us.” That kind of experience combines two digital activities that Gen Z loves – gaming and chatting!

4. Online Shopping

The pandemic was a formative experience for Gen Z, accelerating the generation’s passion for online purchases. Newer technologies like flexible payments (e.g., Buy Now Pay Later) and mobile wallets are also popular with Gen Z. 

An easy online purchase experience is essential to connecting with Gen Z buyers. A smooth online purchase experience is required to have a chance. To be truly competitive with Gen Z, more is required. Sustainability resonates: the majority (73%) will pay a premium of 10% for sustainable products (source). Influencer product recommendations on social media are also an essential driver of purchases.

Gen Z Online Shopping

In a second-screen context, the online shopping experience needs to be fast and tailored to Gen Z. Plan ahead to spotlight products related to the TV experience, like the technology used by actors, apparel, and more. 

Anticipating all of Gen Z’s potential shopping interests is difficult. That’s why a new generation of chat tools is coming. Arena is creating a solution that makes offering an AI-powered “Chat Concierge” that will recommend your brand’s products (and content) easier. 

5. Search For Information Related To What’s On TV

Another popular Gen Z activity is seeking out information directly related to what they see on TV. This type of second screen behavior takes multiple forms, including:

Viewing influencer or reviewer feedback

Passionate Gen Z viewers enjoy following influencer commentary, analysis and reviews online. For example, online influencers published episode-by-episode commentary for HBO’s “House of the Dragon” series. Sponsorships and partnerships with these relationships with these influencers are a proven strategy. 

Finding additional information on people shown on screen

Does a show have a surprise cameo appearance? Or perhaps a lesser-known actor breaking out for the first time? Gen Z audiences will likely search for those details online on their second screen.

These searches can lead your audience to social media or entertainment websites like IMDB. Or you can leverage this opportunity with a live chat or live blog. Pay attention to trending comments on social media and use those comments to inspire your content.

6. Consuming the News

A 2022 survey of Gen Z audiences found that the top three sources of daily news information were social media, streaming services, and online-only news sites. Podcasts, cable news, and newspapers are still drawing engagement but less often. Providing an engaging second-screen experience is vital to keeping your Gen Z engaged and returning for more coverage.

There are a few ways to offer a second-screen experience for Gen Z interested in news coverage. Start by looking for a breaking news event, such as elections or a high-profile court decision. 

Once you have your theme, use the right tools to keep your audience engaged on your website. 

Live Blog

Arena Live Blog Mockup

A live blog to share updates every hour (or more frequently). A live blog is an excellent choice for publishers, sports teams & media companies, mainly because your staff can quickly rewrite some content, like explainers, context, and background posts, to keep audiences engaged.

Live Chat

Arena Live Chat Mockup

Organizing a live chat experience on your website is another powerful way to keep your audience engaged. Take an election, for example. They may see the updated voting totals on their TV. But what does the election mean for Gen Z voters? That’s a rich question to explore with a few panelists in a live chat session.

The Simple Way To Create A Second Screen Experience For Gen Z

Speed matters when attracting and engaging Gen Z audiences. Waiting weeks or months to get your mobile experience ready means losing engagement to the competition. Arena has engagement tools that can be installed on your website in less than an hour. Find out more about Arena’s solutions.

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