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AwesomenessTV CEO: It’s time to stop talking about millennials

Millennials had their turn. Now it’s on to Gen Z.

15th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball - Inside Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for Chrysalis

It’s time to stop talking about millennials — and move on to the younger teens instead.

That’s according to Brian Robbins, co-founder and CEO of AwesomenessTV, the teen-focused digital video company owned by Comcast. Robbins has good reason to focus on Gen Z, the generation behind millennials that largely grew up in the internet age: His company builds internet content specifically for that group of teens.

But Robbins thinks other content creators should be doing the same.

“It’s amazing that this generation, which I view as probably the most influential generation ever, is really not represented that much [in media],” Robbins said Monday at the Code Media conference at the Ritz Carlton in Dana Point, Calif. “We should stop [talking about millennials] because they are becoming less and less influential in pop culture.”

“[Gen Z] is way more serious than millennials,” he continued. “They’re way more socially conscious. They represent a multicultural society of different races, different religions, different sexualities.”

AwesomenessTV makes all kinds of short, internet-only videos about pop culture and fashion and DIY tips, and has made this demographic its focus. Robbins admits that most of the “news” Awesomeness creates is “fluff,” but says he’d like to get into more serious news because young people are craving it.

“They’re living in this world that is scary,” he said. “They’re confused by it. ... We have mostly twentysomethings working at Awesomeness — 400 of them, give or take — and the day after the election it was a morgue in our office.”

“A lot of the protests early on, if you looked at the faces in the crowd, there were a ton of teenagers out there,” he continued. “I want to be able to tell their stories, I want to understand what they’re worried about, what they’re concerned with.”

Robbins knows a thing or two about creating video content for teens. A former child actor himself, Robbins has also produced a number of teen-related TV shows, including “One Tree Hill,” “Smallville” and Nickelodeon’s “Kenan and Kel.”

AwesomenessTV has 4.7 million YouTube subscribers and also posts videos to Facebook, where its page has more than half a million “Likes.”

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