NAB Show

YouTube’s Angela Courtin, Freeform’s Tricia Melton & More: Cracking Gen Z Panel at NAB Show Executive Leadership Summit

With quarantine mandates and social distancing orders forcing Americans indoors for the better part of 2020, streaming consumption saw a massive spike, but the lasting impacts of COVID-19 on the industry are still murky.

The NAB Show Executive Leadership Summit, produced in partnership with the Variety Streaming Room, hosted a discussion in May featuring industry leaders to explore how the coronavirus pandemic might affect audience engagement across different generations in the years ahead. 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 VIP president and chief media analyst Andrew Wallenstein for the chat, 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 talked about how YouTube has acted as a multi-functional resource, providing both education and leisure relief for viewers. “We are now finding ways to learn [tasks] and do them on our own through this beautiful creative community,” she highlighted.

The conversation also brought up how TikTok and Freeform are keeping fresh talent in the public eye through the video-driven social platform popular with kids.

“This 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.”

For more information on the NAB Show Executive Leadership Summit, please visit