Trust in entertainment industry pays dividends

From Colin Mann in London

Research carried out by independent PR agency Edelman has revealed that UK adults aged 18 to 34 are more trusting in the entertainment industry than those in the US. UK trust in the sector remains stable at 29 per cent compared to last year, whereas the US has seen a sharp decline of 15 points to 17 per cent. With trust in the entertainment industry linked to an increased willingness to buy a company's products, the differences between the two countries is further highlighted by consumers' purchasing habits: 66 per cent of consumers in the UK say they are spending the same or more on digital entertainment compared with last year, versus 56 per cent in the US.

According to Gail Becker, President of the US Western Region and global head of Edelman's Digital Entertainment & Technology practice, 66% of consumers in the UK say they are spending the same or more on digital entertainment as last year, with Edelman finding a correlation between trust in the industry and entertainment spending. "Those who say they have a lot of trust in the entertainment industry are more likely to be spending the same or more on entertainment as they did the prior year. Those who do not trust the entertainment industry say they will be spending less money on entertainment. Trust affects every company's bottom line. People will buy from companies they trust and refuse to buy from companies they distrust."

One surprising finding revealed a seeming disparity between the content industry's concerns regarding copy protection and illegal sharing. "We found that cost and quality are consumers' top considerations when paying for entertainment," said Becker. "While cost is the most important factor in today's economic environment, quality still remains comparatively high. What's also interesting is the relatively low ranking respondents gave other considerations that the industry has struggled with during the transition to digital. For example, only four per cent of consumers in the UK rank the number of devices they can use to watch or listen to content as paramount, and only one per cent say that the ability to make a copy of a file is a top concern."

"The broadcast and media industries face a similar dilemma," added Jonathan Hargreaves, head of Edelman's European Technology practice. "The Internet has given consumers enormous choice fuelling the trend from broadcast to narrowcast, particularly for this age group. Narrowcasting delivers content tailored to a particular type of audience. The upshot is that narrowcasting attracts passionate sets of people – who trust these products and services, are loyal and also willing to pay for them."

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