Mx3 HQ NextGen Panel Top Stories
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“Gen Z refrains from traditional norms, and what’s wrong with that?” Mx3’s NextGen Panel launches

Media Makers Meet – Mx3 is proud to announce the launch of its NextGen Panel. The aim? To help media executives better understand Gen Z consumers and engage them in more relevant and powerful ways. In this first reportage, we ask (amongst other questions) how can media brands motivate Gen Z to pay?

Who better to dissect the mindset of Gen Z consumers than, well, Gen Zers themselves? While extensive research aims to analyse this generation, nothing beats insights directly from the source.

Meet the NextGen Panel – a group of creative young professionals from Gen Z discussing generational trends, values and perspectives on the rapidly evolving media landscape. From Norway, France, Germany, and England, the panel is made up of four bright media enthusiasts from across Europe.

Throughout the year, this group of talented young people will come together to use their creative power to influence how media brands engage young audiences through unique insights into Gen Z motivations and values.

But that’s not all – the panel invites you to engage directly with them. Feel free to send your questions directly to the panel, and let our international panelists provide their perspectives and potential creative solutions.

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Kicking things off – our panellists weigh in on three media trends for 2024 from a Gen Z perspective. Across a wide range of topics, from brand authenticity to work culture and business models, we ask the hard questions. We challenge assumptions. The goal? To offer an inside look for media companies hoping to attract, understand and retain Gen Z customers and employees in the coming year.

Navigating Authenticity – How should brands engage Gen Z in an era of misinformation?

The landscape of how Generation Z interacts with media and absorbs news has undergone a profound shift in recent years. Social media has taken over as a preferred way for many to consume news, rather than through traditional television networks. Simultaneously, online commentary on news has exploded, often without the crucial foundation of accurate information. In this evolving media landscape, the question of authenticity takes centre stage.

What role does authenticity play in shaping our perception of events, and how does it influence the credibility of the information we encounter in this new age of digital media?

Authenticity for many brands often involves casual content that seeks to resonate with Generation Z by mirroring their tone of voice. However, the effectiveness of such an approach, and whether it’s a worthwhile pursuit for media companies, remains a question.

For others, authenticity is more so tied to revealing the face behind the brand. Letting target audiences relate to and create an emotional connection to a person rather than a brand has shown to be beneficial on multiple occasions. However, different cases have shown that this can be quite dangerous. Cancel-Culture has taken over the world and is especially present within Generation Z.

News personalities like CNN’s Max Foster (1.2 million TikTok followers) and Dylan Page (#1 news account on TikTok with 10 million followers) demonstrate this authenticity debate. Putting a familiar, engaging human face on news content can help brands connect emotionally with younger audiences.

Yet, if the content demands engagement, user-generated interactivity, and a semblance of authenticity, how can media companies reconcile these aspects with being authentically recognised as large entities producing high-quality, curated content?


Monetisation – How can media brands motivate Gen Z to pay?

In alignment with our panellists, a majority of Gen Z does not frequently opt for news or media subscriptions. While some of us may have grown up with the weekly or daily newspaper on our doorstep, our media consumption and payment habits diverge significantly from those of our parents. As media often discusses the challenge of capturing Gen Z attention amidst constant sensory overload, an even more pressing question emerges – how do we entice them to pay?

While many Gen Z consumers still rely on family members for their subscriptions, the proliferation of subscription-based services over the last decade has raised concerns. More people express reservations about the accumulating costs of multiple subscriptions each month. Thus, the question arises: Will individuals be willing to sustain payments for numerous subscriptions in the long run?

But what is the alternative? While other monetisation models like micropayments have shown promise but (so far) failed to gain widespread traction, are there other strategies to prompt Gen Z to open their pockets? Can media brands persuade Gen Z audiences through brand loyalty and trust to motivate paid transactions?

Gen Z, being the most environmentally aware generation so far, is actively seeking ways to make a positive impact. Illustrating the tangible effects of their financial contributions, such as supporting investigative journalism or environmental initiatives, could be a key strategy.

Crowdfunding, a model that aligns with Gen Z’s desire for direct impact, has proven successful. Platforms that allow individuals to contribute directly to projects, causes, or content they believe in resonate well with Gen Z’s inclination for transparency and authenticity.

As we navigate the evolving landscape of media consumption, understanding these nuanced preferences and aligning payment models with Gen Z values will likely be pivotal for the sustainability of media and news platforms.


Gen Z Enters the Chat: What Will Attract and Retain Gen Z Employees?

“Difficult”, “Lazy”, “Lack of Responsibility” – only a few words that have been used to describe Gen Z employees across industries. Despite the prevailing stereotypes, Gen Z, as the next significant generation entering the workforce, demands a closer look from leaders in the media industry. The question looms: How can leaders not only attract but also retain Gen Z talent?

In an era where traditional work structures are being challenged, Gen Z stands out for their inclination to seek meaning and fulfilment beyond the confines of their job descriptions. From impromptu sleepovers in the office to spontaneous ski trips and investing the boss’s money in office Christmas decorations, Gen Z refrains from traditional norms. The real question is, what’s wrong with that? Gen Z comes with distinct expectations regarding work-life balance, traditional work structures, mental health awareness, and diversity and inclusion. But is that necessarily a drawback? And more importantly, how can the media industry adapt?

Financial stability emerges as a key concern for Gen Z, who are navigating an era marked by economic uncertainty. A critical issue: the exploitation of young talent. Unpaid internships and extended periods without compensation hinder Gen Z’s ability to thrive professionally. It raises questions about the fairness and ethics within industries, particularly the media sector.

Perhaps it’s time to challenge traditional work culture and explore what truly works best?


Key Takeaways

Adapting to Gen Z’s preferences in authenticity, media consumption, and work culture is crucial for attracting and retaining both customers and employees.

While complex questions remain, we’ve uncovered some takeaways:

These insights are just the beginning. While the panel has covered critical ground, this ongoing dialogue will continue to drive meaningful change. Embracing the promise and power of Generation Z requires sustained commitment to transparency, understanding, and adaptation to their evolving values.

If you would like to know more about the NextGen panel, please contact jez@mediamakersmeet.com or pierre@yoofagency.com.