Youth Culture Uncovered with the Youth Lab at THINKHOUSE.
The Learning Waves partnership with the Youth Lab at THINKHOUSE kickstarted last week with the Youth Culture Uncovered workshop with Claire Hyland and Laura Costello. THINKHOUSE is one of the world’s leading independent agencies, specifically for youth culture. They work with progressive brands that care about people and the planet. This course delved into the insights uncovered in the research carried out by Youth Lab at THINKHOUSE on ‘What is it like to be young today?’ and ‘What does this mean for radio stations in terms of content and advertising?’
Every year at THINKHOUSE, they ask what is it like to be young today? This year they spoke to 500 young people, split 50/50 between 16- to 24-year-olds and 25- to 35-year-olds. This research aimed to find out what way young people look at the world, what are the drivers behind this viewpoint and what are the implications for brands, businesses and organisations.
The research that was presented was invaluable to the attendees, seeking advice in connecting with younger audiences on their radio stations. The following are the highlights.
1. Hope vs Anxiety: Claire said, “There was a real polarity coming out in the research, so much as one person might have a really positive energetic response, there was equally the opposite, negative, dispirited response coming through.”
2. The main issues of concern amongst 16 to 35 year olds are the cost of living crisis, housing and health. Whereas in 2021 they were housing, health and climate change.
3. The pandemic has made an impact on the way younger people consume news. Nonetheless, one of the interesting points that came from the research was that they saw an understanding amongst young people that, instead of just playing into what society maybe expects of you, it’s more empowering to do something for you.
4. Joy Snacks: They explained that young people seek moments in which they are doing something for themselves because it makes them happy. They snack on joy – Joy Snacks. These are the moments that young people blossom into their own individuality which is another important characteristic of ‘Gen-Z’.
5. The younger genertation are interested in travel & adventure, food experiences, sports/wellness/gym, being outdoors in nature and binge watching content.
6. Only 15% of young people think that there is some one like them in government. Only 16% trust that the governement have their generation at their best interest. 55% believe society is run by the old for the old.
7. 1 in 2 don't believe that Ireland offers them the greatest opportunity for a happy life. 1 in 2 agree that they have no choice but to go abroad for better opportunities. 1 in 2 don't believe that Ireland offers them the greatest opportunity for a happy life.
After the analysation of the young generation of Ireland, Laura and Claire advised the group on what to do next, how to engage with this audience in an effective way. One of the main pieces of advice was to listen to this audience, give them a platform to tell you what they want from you. For example, they suggested setting up a ‘young listeners board.’ They encouraged the group to create a safe space for the younger members of staff or listeners to pitch ideas, share experiences and ask questions. This will shape your content to their needs.
Claire and Laura also suggested to get native to social. They highlighted the importance of getting your stories on to platforms, like Tiktok, to connect with this audience. 39% of 18 to 34 year olds are using social media as a main source of news. This multi-platform engagement ensures seamless integration across all platforms.
With the emergence of AI and Algorithm content, Claire and Laura explained that Radio is at advantage amongst young people. Radio content isn't curated for each specific listener, so young people have a chance to hear a new story, idea or niche interest. This facilitates discovery which is very important to this generation.
This workshop was a great insight into the youth culture of Ireland and how our radio stations can adapt to their needs. Keep an eye on our website and social media for more workshops like this.
More from THINKHOUSE coming up next week: Man vs. Machine: What is the Impact of AI on how we work? With Donagh Humphreys. Sign up here.