Boosting game discovery among Gen Z

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Gen Z: hustlers, dreamers and serious streamers

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    Gen Z boasts a well-earned reputation for being a notoriously tricky demographic to get onyour side. So, how do you make students fall in love with your brand?...

    Gen Z are avid streamers, with 64% of students telling UNiDAYS that they use between 3 to 6 different streaming services every month. Plus, YouTube, the top-performing platform, is used every single day by 56% of our student members, with just under half saying the same for Spotify and 37% for Netflix.

    However, as of late, the cost of streaming subscriptions has risen and the price increases are set to continue. For students, this is a huge problem—almost three-quarters of our members across the UK, US and AU say lower prices are key to their streaming purchases.

    So, let’s take a look at Gen Z’s love of streaming, the risk of price hikes and how brands can uncover a compromise to ensure their services deliver great value to this notoriously tricky generation.

    Expensive subscription = student friction

    Ever since streaming prices ballooned in October 2023, students have been facing a genuine predicament: they love streaming, but can they keep up with the cost?

    Moreover, can service providers really afford to risk losing the loyalty of Gen Z over price hikes? It’s well known that this generation isn’t easy to win over in the first place, which means it’s important not to lose their trust during this key time in their lives. Since Disney+ announced its hefty £3 increase to its monthly subscription price, it reported a quarterly loss of 1.3 million subscribers. Let it be a warning that cost is a top priority for Gen Z.

    For the majority of students, their favourite streaming destinations are consistent. However, we’re seeing an increasing volume of students looking to switch to new streaming subscription services for two main reasons:

    1. The price of a streaming service subscription is too high

    2. The content they specifically want to consume is only available on other streaming services

    “Oh no!” We hear you say. Don’t worry, when it comes to Gen Z, aligning with their priorities is the golden key to success. Speaking of their priorities, what are they?

    Student streaming priorities

    We asked Gen Z what they care about most when it comes to streaming and found out just how content-led this generation is: over one-third say they’d consider cancelling a subscription based on content availability, while 4 out of 10 students are more likely to stream when content they enjoy is available, compared to just 17% of Millennials.

    Plus, over half of students said they’d recently purchased a brand new streaming subscription because of specific content releases on that platform, like an exclusive film, series, album or podcast. Additionally, 59% of Gen Z said they’d cancel a current service and move to another for the same reason.

    In fact, content availability was ranked as the second most important factor when choosing a service to subscribe to, behind… you guessed it, price. That means brands should be ensuring students are made aware of the content available, particularly if your service holds exclusive media. If there’s an upcoming release on your platform, shout about it. Even if your price rises, you can help soothe the hit on students by making sure the right content is there for them.

    Other key considerations include streaming quality, user experience and word of mouth/recommendations from peers, family and friends.

    It’s wise to compromise

    The thing about price hikes is that sometimes, they’re inevitable. However, we know the cost of a streaming service is the most important consideration for students when making a purchase. So, how can you find the perfect compromise?

    When asked what would help them with music streaming, 72% of students said lower prices and over half also said they’d be pleased to see discounts on monthly subscriptions—this is the same for TV and movie subscriptions.

    The key takeaway here is Gen Z wants to get some bang for their buck. Value for money is a top priority and if the cost of your streaming service increases, you need to make this generation aware of why it’s still worth it.

    Over half of Gen Z said a student discount would go a long way to address their concerns over the cost of a streaming subscription—so listen to them.

    Subscribe to Gen Z success

    For an inside guide to Gen Z’s streaming needs and motivations, UNiDAYS is your box office. Partner with us to unlock rich Gen Z insights and leverage an audience of more than 29 million verified students.

    Don’t forget, students love discounts (who doesn’t?) and when it comes to great offers, UNiDAYS is their go-to destination for the best deals. This is your opportunity to gain lifetime loyalty from the digital generation.


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