Changing media trends; VoD, Gaming and UGC

Deloitte's 2023 Digital Media Trend report has excellent insights into our changing media preferences, particularly VoD, Gaming & UGC.
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Deloitte has released their 2023 Digital Media Trend report, which has excellent insights into our changing media preferences, particularly around VoD, Gaming and User-Generated Content.

To help, I provide a summary of some of the key themes: 

Digital is replacing in-person experiences

In what is probably a hang-over from our COVID days, we are seeing a greater acceptance of digital experiences. The report found that around one-third of people in the US consider online experiences meaningful replacements for in-person experiences.

Interestingly, the figure increased to half for Gen Z, who also say they spend more than half their time socialising with others on social media over the physical world! It goes to show just how much of our lives are now consumed by digital experiences. 

Psychological uses of entertainment

What I found fascinating about the report was how different media taps into different psychological states. The reports says;

“In general, younger generations like Gen Zs and Millennials play video games and watch UGC to be entertained but also for social connection and a sense of immersion—that feeling of being deeply engaged and even transported into the screen. In contrast, Gen X and older generations are likely to feel most immersed while watching TV shows and movies and are less likely to feel a sense of community from any of these options.”

Streaming under pressure 

Once pipped as the future of entertainment is undoubtedly coming under fire, with over 40% churn within six month for significant streaming services overall.

For Gen Z, the number dramatically increase to over 60%. People are getting more discerning and ‘churning and returning’ when they want to watch a specific show or movie and then cancel right after. 

One key reason is the current economic climate, as millennials who originally bought subscriptions are filling the pinch. They are also moving to free ad-supported version of a service, or bundling benefits. Around 60% of households now use a free, ad-supported streaming video service, and roughly 4 in 10 say they watch a more ad-supported streaming video than they did a year ago, whether paid or free.  

Fragmented entertainment options 

The report found that doing a ‘Netflix and Chill’ isnt what it once was, especially for younger audiences. Deloitte said, “People have more choices and seem to be dividing their digital entertainment options more evenly based on the kinds of value they offer. For many, digital media is entertaining and can provide utility, foster community, and support emotional needs.

Most gamers, for example, say that succeeding in a video game boosts their self-confidence. About a third of gamers say they feel better about their self-image when playing video games, and many gamers agree that video games allow them to feel like they are part of the story rather than just watching it. They can be their own movie star, the hero of grand adventures, and even take the lead role in the world’s most extensive entertainment franchises—and many are willing to spend money on virtual enhancements and upgrades to help them succeed or to express themselves with personalised, in-game appearances.”

User-generated content is here to stay and offers so much.

Interestingly, the trend around UGC is only set to get bigger and take on a more prominent role in people’s lives. It’s a place and space where people seek entertainment, social engagement, community, and feelings of self-worth.

More people are turning towards it for their viewing pleasure over other forms, especially VoD so it’s worth keeping close tabs on this area. 


My key takeaway is that the media landscape evolves constantly; what we believe are dominant channels quickly begin to be replaced, particularly for new generations. Therefore, we must continually monitor and assess channel preference and dial up and down our channel mix accordingly. 

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