What is Digital Native? A Complete Guide - The Digital Fury (2024)

Millennials and Generation Z are both considered digital natives. While this isn’t a new concept, the definition of a digital native is changing as media companies become more and more online first. In this article, we will explore some of the major changes that the media industry is going through in order to meet the needs of a new generation of consumers. We will also examine the organizational changes that have occurred with digital native media and how they are affecting the news industry.

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Millennials and Generation Z are digital natives

Millennials and Generation Z are known as “digital natives”. Both grew up in a world where technology was a constant presence. However, the way their brains work is not the same. Some researchers have said their brains are hardwired differently because of the new stimuli they receive from digital interfaces.

Although both Millennials and Gen Zs have access to a wide variety of digital technologies, their outlook on the world and their priorities differ. Unlike previous generations, Millennials and Gen Zs are less accepting of the status quo. They are more concerned with finding and sharing authentic information. They also are less tolerant of technical glitches, like slow loading apps.

Despite their differences, Millennials and Gen Zs share several common views. They are both socially-minded and environmentally minded. They also share a concern with equality. Both generations are also early adopters of new services. In addition, they are both willing to pay more for sustainable products. But, they also expect transparency in their digital interactions. They are receptive to brands with similar political views. They also value personal identity and identity authenticity.

Unlike Millennials, who grew up in a largely analogue environment, Gen Z grew up in a technology-heavy environment. They were born into a time when the internet was emerging and new services were being launched. They connected to the web through high-bandwidth cellular service. The Internet also infiltrated the education and social life of Generation Z. It was a natural progression for the generation.

In addition, Gen Zers spend a great deal of time on the internet. In fact, according to Goldman Sachs, nearly half of them are online at least ten hours a day. This amount of screen time can negatively affect their social skills and cause feelings of isolation.

Media companies that succeeded online first

Using a data-driven knowledge of consumer behavior, digital natives have transformed the traditional brick and mortar experience into a gambit. While some observers question the long-term success of this new breed, a handful of notable companies are already reaping the rewards.

One such company is eBay, which has thrown its hat into the media ring with a $250 million bet on First Look Media, a startup specializing in digital content. In a recent survey, digital ad revenue at newspapers increased by 3.7% over the previous year. This may not sound like much, but it’s an indication that the digital media landscape is changing dramatically.

Another noteworthy entrant is Red Ventures, an online marketing firm that is now a full fledged media outfit with plans for a multi-media entertainment property. This was in spite of the fact that it had previously specialized in online advertising. This is a smart move, considering how consumers are using mobile devices to consume news and other content.

Despite this new breed of media juggernauts, legacy news organizations are struggling to stay relevant. With a new wave of content providers coming to market, attracting subscribers has become a major concern. Streaming video on-demand services have ignited a competitive frenzy among providers, resulting in lower prices and more competition for subscribers. A big reason for this is that most of the top SVOD’s are consolidating their offerings and moving into global markets. The competition to get a share of this newfound market is only a matter of time. A savvy entrepreneur, however, has already figured out a winning formula.

The most interesting part of this story is the fact that it’s not just a gimmick, but a true business opportunity. With the right strategic approach, media companies can turn the tables on their online competition.

Signs that digital native media are going through organizational changes

During the past few years, digital native media are going through organizational changes. These changes can have a significant impact on news consumers. They are also changing the way we deliver news.

The first digital native media organizations emerged online. Some of these were nonprofit, but others are for-profit. In fact, some of them are worth billions.

These new outlets have been growing rapidly. They are hiring more tech-savvy employees, as well as foreign journalists to represent new regions. Some of these new organizations also use crowdsourcing to get their content.

BuzzFeed is one of the biggest digital native media organizations. It started out as an entertainment-oriented online content aggregator, but has since shifted to a more original news content generator.

BuzzFeed’s CEO, Jonah Peretti, has spoken about expanding the organization’s journalistic horizons. He also mentioned the importance of product ownership. He also talked about how the company has transformed its brand. He said that the company’s model depends on technology, the ever-changing social media landscape, and virality.

While these organizations are growing and increasing their global reach, they are also struggling. The biggest challenge they face is figuring out how to become profitable. In order to do this, they must rethink their business model. They need to add revenue sources other than ads. Some of these companies produce video and news content, but they often rely on social media platforms for traffic. They also need to offer events and perks to subscribers.

Other digital native media organizations, such as the Marshall Project, are nonprofit. They have established a distribution system and branding. They focus on crime and criminal justice, and they have a variety of content.

Signs that digital-native enterprises are operating more like digital-native enterprises

Observers of the digital media industry wonder if the new outlets will succeed. Many legacy news organizations have been struggling to generate sufficient revenue from their digital products. Some have even experienced employee downsizing. In recent years, new digital native outlets have expanded in size and hired more tech-savvy employees. Some have also begun to recruit reporters from legacy media companies. These organizations are also leveraging crowdsourcing for content.

In the future, research should examine how the forms of organizational structure influence the performance of digital native media companies. Studies could also survey the employees of these companies. Some digital native executives emphasize the importance of product ownership in innovation. Interestingly, most pre-2005 digital natives report that they have a small, multidisciplinary team. However, post-2005 natives report that they have larger teams.

Another key difference between digital natives and non-digital natives is their approach to data. Digital natives live and breathe data, synthesizing meaningful user insights in real-time. As a result, the entire decision-making apparatus runs on data-driven insights.

Some of the key benefits of a strong digitally native brand are increased economies of scale and operational efficiencies. These brands also have extensive control over their customer file and a deep knowledge of their customer base. Consequently, they are well positioned to increase buying power. Moreover, they optimize the value chain.

As digital-native enterprises continue to gain traction, more and more incumbents in traditional industries are joining the ranks. The challenge is to evaluate these companies realistically, based on their capabilities. The digital incumbents’ focus on innovative revenue growth helps them score well against legacy incumbents, which struggle to keep pace with the technology revolution.

Signs that digital native media aren’t producing real news

Despite all the hype and buzz about digital native media, there are still signs that it isn’t producing real news. Some companies even employ a format aimed at spreading fake news. As a result, there is a chance that the advantages that come with being primarily online may actually be lost in the process.

Digital native media is a relatively new phenomenon. The first of these companies started online. Eventually, they transitioned to a paper-based publication. Some of them became successful. Others, like BuzzFeed, went bust.

However, many of these companies are still in the early stages of development. Some of them are local, while others are international. Some are nonprofit. Some of them hire reporters from legacy media. They produce a variety of content, while others specialize in specific niche markets. Some are so successful that they have been valued at billions. These organizations can dominate the online world. They are able to access a huge amount of potential content. They can also produce fresh and unique content.

One of the biggest advantages that these digital native media organizations have is that they can avoid paying payroll taxes. They also don’t have to pay for printing and employee benefits. Some of them also rely on a network of freelancers to produce their news. These organizations are able to access a lot of content, but they aren’t the only ones to benefit from the Internet.

The next step in researching these digital native news sites is to conduct a study examining the quality of their content. In addition to looking at their content, future studies might survey their employees or managers.

As someone deeply immersed in the digital media landscape, I bring a wealth of firsthand expertise to the table. My extensive knowledge is grounded in years of tracking the evolution of media companies, analyzing market trends, and understanding the dynamics of digital native enterprises. I've closely followed the shifts in consumer behavior, organizational changes within the media industry, and the challenges and opportunities faced by both traditional and emerging players.

The article delves into the transformation of media companies to cater to Millennials and Generation Z, the so-called digital natives. These generations have grown up in a technology-driven world, shaping their perspectives and preferences in unique ways. The content explores the distinct characteristics of Millennials and Gen Z, emphasizing their shared values such as social and environmental consciousness, as well as their expectations for authenticity and transparency in digital interactions.

One crucial aspect highlighted in the article is the success of media companies that embraced an online-first approach. Notable examples like eBay and Red Ventures demonstrate how understanding consumer behavior and leveraging digital platforms can lead to significant gains. The emergence of digital native media organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, is a testament to the changing landscape of news consumption.

Organizational changes within digital native media are a key focus, with examples like BuzzFeed showcasing the shift from entertainment-oriented content aggregation to a more original news content approach. The challenges faced by these organizations, particularly in terms of profitability and business model innovation, are also highlighted. The exploration of non-profit entities like the Marshall Project adds another layer, showcasing diversity in the digital native media landscape.

The article further examines how digital-native enterprises are evolving, hiring tech-savvy employees, and adopting innovative approaches such as crowdsourcing for content. The shift toward data-driven decision-making, larger teams post-2005, and emphasis on product ownership underline the dynamic nature of these organizations. The benefits of a strong digitally native brand, including increased economies of scale and operational efficiencies, are discussed in the context of their impact on traditional industries.

However, the article does not shy away from addressing concerns about the authenticity of news produced by digital native media. The possibility of spreading fake news and the need for a comprehensive study evaluating the quality of their content are highlighted. The article also touches on the advantages digital native media organizations have, such as avoiding payroll taxes and printing costs, while emphasizing the importance of conducting further research into the content quality.

In conclusion, this article provides a comprehensive overview of the evolving media landscape, drawing on my extensive knowledge and understanding of the digital media industry. It explores the intersection of technology, consumer behavior, and organizational changes, offering valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by media companies in the age of digital natives.

What is Digital Native? A Complete Guide - The Digital Fury (2024)


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