One of the myths about Gen Z that we debunked in our recent article about the digital native generation is that they don’t watch TV. Sure, they’re not as likely to spend their evenings transfixed by the tellybox as teens in the past, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t consuming serialised content.
According to US media monitoring agency Nielsen, 73% of Gen Z have access to video-on-demand services, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. Plus, as anyone who keeps tabs on the latest teen fandoms will know, shows such as Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why have fanbases just as loyal as any boyband or social media star today.
Here are five shows that had every teen talking in 2017...
13 Reasons Why
Netflix’s original high school drama sparked controversy for its graphic portrayal of suicide, but its unique concept, charismatic cast and relevant subject matter drew in a fanatical young audience. 13 Reasons Why was adapted from a novel by Jay Asher, by a production team including pop star Selena Gomez.
Created by NRK, the Norwegian equivalent of the BBC, this series about a group of Oslo teens was an unexpected internet phenomenon. Storylines about sexuality and religion inspired fans around the world to translate the series into their own languages. It is now being re-made for several new territories, including the US, where it will be hosted exclusively by Facebook.
This teen thriller based on the Archie Comics series was created for US TV network The CW, but reached an international audience via Netflix. The show features a cast of young newcomers, supported by former teen stars in the roles of their parents, such as Beverly Hills, 90210’s Luke Perry and Twin Peaks’ Mädchen Amick.
Another Netflix series that resonated with a young audience was quirky sci-fi show Stranger Things. Teen stars such as Finn Wolfhard and Milly Bobby Brown have attracted cult followings on social media, and have bright futures ahead. The second series was promoted with creative PR stunts, such as an experiential takeover of Topshop’s flagship London store.
A homegrown show that caught the attention of young British viewers this year was reality TV series Love Island. The show had a strong social media presence, relatable stars and plenty of watercooler moments. Check out our recent chat with ITV’s Controller of Marketing & Media, Will Worsdell, for his insights on the summer’s runaway hit.
Will Worsdell is one of the speakers at our upcoming event, YMS London, in March 2018. Don’t miss his talk on creating youth popular culture.