Gen Z and the Return to Real

Something’s happening in our digitally-focused world, and it bodes well for print publishers.

“In 2018, The New York Times noted a rise in food-based, small-run magazines that focus on printed products,” writes Chaymae Samir in Reuters. “Notably, most of the magazines’ founders were 20 to 30 years old.”

That cohort, knows as Generation Z, is now the largest generation of consumers. They seem notoriously immune to traditional ad tactics, and put trust above all else when it comes to brand loyalty. And they have been vocal about the dangers inherent is social media, concerned it sets impossible standards that may be causing emotional challenges and mental health issues.

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Practically born with their parents’ phones in their hands, Generation Z is a conundrum to many marketers. Yet thanks to a MIN Targeted study, we know some key things about them:

We’ve reported some of this data before, including the impact this is having on the indie publishing model. Perhaps this helps explain why some magazine subscriptions are surging during our current crisis. Perhaps Gen Z, like so many of us, is growing weary of binge-watching and mindless surfing.

Perhaps they are longing to return to “real life,” and that includes returning to the tangible appeal of reading in print. It will be fascinating to watch as this country begins to reopen to see where they gravitate. I suspect Gen Z will be leading us all in putting down our phones to enjoy a good meal, a good conversation … and a good read.