50% of Gen Zers and Millennials say online experiences are meaningful replacements for the real thing

Ryan Angle, a USC freshman, left, takes a selfie with his mom Jennifer, a USC Alumni, on move-in day on August 17, 2022
Christina House—Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Good morning.

We all know the pandemic provided a major boost to the consumption of digital media. Less well-known is the degree to which the very nature of media consumption changed, providing not just entertainment, but “real meaning and fulfillment,” according to Deloitte Vice Chair Jana Arbanas. A new report out this morning from Deloitte (which sponsors this newsletter) shows the dimensions of that change, especially for younger people. Some highlights:

–50% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers in the U.S. (ages 14-40) agree with the statement: “online experiences are meaningful replacements for in-person experiences.” Only 19% of Gen Xers, Boomers and older (ages 41 and up) feel the same.

–48% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers say they “spend more time interacting with others on social media than in the physical world.” Only 20% of older consumers say the same.

–Watching TV shows or movies remains the most enjoyable activity for the majority of the 41-year-old-plus crowd (55%), but not for younger consumers. Only 30% say they enjoy TV shows and movies most, compared to video games (19%), user-generated content (19%), and music (16%).

–Younger consumers say they feel “most connected” to a community of people when playing video games (19%) and watching user-generated content (27%), while much smaller numbers of older consumers (5% and 11%) say the same.

And for all those trying to build digital media subscription businesses, here’s another stunning generational divide: While 88% of consumers have paid for a video subscription, half of those (44%) have also cancelled one in the last six months. And cancellation is much more common among Gen Zers (57%) and Millennials (62%) than Gen Xers (43%) and Boomers (24%).

You can read the full Deloitte study this morning here

Separately, if you are wondering whether ChatGPT can boost worker productivity, you should read this story by Fortune’s Steve Mollman about people who are already using the tool to help them hold down more than one job.

More news below.

Alan Murray



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Engaged couples using online platform Zola to create their wedding registries are removing Bed Bath & Beyond items from their wish lists, indicating a decline in confidence in the struggling home goods retailer. Chief Executive Officer Sue Gove says the business is taking the “necessary steps” to ensure longevity. Bloomberg

The dark side of A.I.

The advancement of generative A.I. technology may exacerbate the problem of non-consensual deepfake pornography. Some A.I. models, such as DALL-E and Midjourney, are already excluding explicit content from the data they use, and social media companies are taking steps to better safeguard their platforms from harmful materials like deepfakes. The Associated Press

Water inequality

A new study published in Nature Sustainability reveals that wealthy households living in big cities often drive water crises. The researchers found that the rich use more water than the rest of the population, mainly for non-essential activities. During drought-related restrictions, lower-income households were left without enough water to meet their basic needs. Fortune


Americans are in the era of quiet ambition: No longer ‘chasing achievement for achievements’ sake’ by Alicia Adamczyk

China’s reopening sees Gen Z ready to splurge after lying flat: ‘They don’t see life as a matter of ruthless survival’ by Nicholas Gordon

BabyAGI is taking Silicon Valley by storm. Should we be scared? by Jeremy Kahn

Elon Musk agrees A.I. will hit people ‘like an asteroid,’ says he used Obama meeting to urge regulation by Steve Mollman

The life of a 24-year-old adventure nanny who makes over $70,000 a year helping her ‘mom-boss’ do a lot of everything by Trey Williams

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by Jackson Fordyce. 

This is the web version of CEO Daily, a newsletter of must-read insights from Fortune CEO Alan Murray. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.

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