Gen Z & Gen Y in Saudi Arabia

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Gen Z & Gen Y in Saudi Arabia

Key Takeaways

  • "Smartphones steal the show for Gen Z and Millennial consumers" in Saudi Arabia, with this cohort spending over four hours every day on their mobile phones, more time than on any other media platform or channel.
  • As a result, The National Research Group determined that mobile devices have become a "fundamental part of how young consumers connect and stay in the know about what’s culturally relevant" in the KSA.
  • Alongside this engagement with mobile devices, Gen Z and Gen Y are the most "regular" consumers of streamed content in the country, with 72% and 69%, respectively, engaging with streaming services "on a regular basis."
  • Meanwhile, Gen Z and Millennials in Saudi Arabia are defined by a "more liberal, risk-taking, entrepreneurial mindset," making the KSA home to the largest number of Millennial entrepreneurs worldwide.

Introduction

The research team has curated three insights on the cultural trends, interests and activities that are currently influencing behavior among Gen Z and Gen Y in Saudi Arabia. In crafting this analysis, the research team took care to provide insights that were corroborated by multiple, reputable sources as well as validated by hard data, such as survey results, to demonstrate relevance and impact. In one instance, slightly dated (2018) research was included to add robustness to the analysis.

Mobile

  • "Smartphones steal the show for Gen Z and Millennial consumers" in Saudi Arabia, according to a 2020 study by The National Research Group, 2020 research by Capillary and a 2019 survey by Cassandra.
  • In particular, The National Research Group found that mobile devices have become a "fundamental part of how young consumers connect and stay in the know about what’s culturally relevant" in the KSA.
  • This phenomenon is due to the fact that Gen Z and Gen Y in the country spend over four hours every day on their mobile phones, more time than on any other media platform or channel, according to The National Research Group.
  • Moreover, over one-third of Gen Z and Gen Y in Saudi Arabia exclusively use mobile phones for all of their internet access, per Capillary.
  • As part of this time with mobile devices, almost all of Gen Z and Gen Y in the country watch video in some format every day of the year.
  • In tandem, these two generations leverage their mobile devices for shopping, with Cassandra finding that most Millennials in the country use smartphones for shopping, while almost all (85%) are spending more time making purchases through smartphones, even prior to pandemic-related shutdowns.
  • As a result of this mobile-first lifestyle, The National Research Group and Cassandra concluded that the use of smartphones among these younger generations in the KSA is "evolving" how these consumers engage with society, enjoy media and make purchases.


Streaming

  • Alongside their reliance on mobile devices, Generations Z and Y in Saudi Arabia have become ubiquitous adopters of streaming services, per 2021 research from YouGov and a 2020 analysis by Capillary.
  • YouGov determined that there is a large, "inverse relationship between age and on-demand streaming" in the KSA, which has "massively affected" how younger generations in the KSA are consuming content.
  • At present, Gen Z and Gen Y are the most "regular" consumers of streamed content in the country, with 72% and 69%, respectively, engaging with streaming services "on a regular basis." This compares to just 45% of Baby Boomers in Saudi Arabia.
  • Among these two younger generations, the streaming service of choice is Netflix, which is used by 59% of Gen Z and 56% of Millennials in the country.
  • Younger generations also "lead the pack" in terms of YouTube consumption, both in Saudi Arabia and globally, with Capillary adding that YouTub has become the "weapon of choice for marketers targeting millennials in the region" owing to their engagement with the video streaming platform.
  • Meanwhile, the trend toward streaming among Gen Z and Gen Y audiences in the KSA has permanently altered the media consumption preferences for these groups, according to YouGov, with half of this cohort agreeing that "Live TV is a thing of the past," and most expecting content to be available "on-demand."

Entrepreneurship

  • Finally, an interest in entrepreneurship has come to uniquely characterize Gen Z and Gen Y in Saudi Arabia, according to separate reports by HSBC and Brand Genetics.
  • The latest survey by Brand Genetics concluded that these two younger generations are defined by a "more liberal, risk-taking, entrepreneurial mindset," which challenges the "strict" and highly regulated culture of their country.
  • This is particularly the case among young women in Saudi Arabia, who view entrepreneurship as a "new way to express themselves."
  • As a result, HSBC found that Saudi Arabia has the largest number of Millennial entrepreneurs worldwide, adding that entrepreneurs in the country work 2.5 hours more than similar businessmen globally.

Research Strategy

For this research on Gen Z and Gen Y in Saudi Arabia, the research team leveraged the most reputable sources available in the public domain, including Arab News, Snapchat and Brand Genetics. In several cases, relevant survey results were blocked behind paywalls, and were therefore obtained through media coverage of the research. In one instance, slightly dated (2018) research was included to add robustness to the analysis.

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