With shelter-in-place and social distancing measures continuing to keep America inside, streaming consumption is on the rise. However, the lasting industry impacts of the coronavirus pandemic remain uncertain.
The NAB Show Executive Leadership Summit, produced in partnership with the Variety Streaming Room, hosted a discussion featuring industry leaders to touch on how the pandemic could affect audience engagement between different generations in the future. Tricia Melton, Freeform’s senior VP of marketing; Rob Holmes, programming VP at Roku; Angela Courtin, global head of brand marketing at YouTube; and Brianna Cayo Cotter, senior VP of social impact at ViacomCBS Youth & Entertainment all joined for the discussion, titled “Cracking Generation Z for Entertainment Engagement.”
“This is a generation-defining moment, without a doubt,” Cayo Cutter said. “There’s all sorts of things that are happening on Nickelodeon to help support kids understanding and how parents can help support children… It is going to be only a more important and urgent thing to make sure that we’re modeling through media and entertainment, healthy coping and resilience and help seeking, and then making sure that our audiences are actually connected with the help seeking resources they need.”
Courtin spoke to how YouTube is being implemented as both a resource of education and leisure during this time, highlighting how “we are now finding ways to learn [tasks] and do them on our own through this beautiful creative community.”
The conversation also touched on TikTok and how Freeform is keeping their talent in the public eye through the platform.
“[T]his demo, Gen Z, has basically taught and introduced their grandparents to TikTok,” Melton said. “Who could’ve imagined that eight weeks ago? That’s what I find so fascinating and fluid about this particular platform. It will be interesting to see where it goes and how brands in general begin to really use TikTok.”