Edelman: Social platforms expand entertainment

Edelman has released findings from its seventh annual Global Entertainment Study, revealing that nearly two-thirds of respondents agree that watching and sharing entertainment online has increased their sense of global connection.

The findings also highlight behavioural similarities and differences around entertainment consumption, social media interactions, overall engagement trends and distinctions between emerging and developed markets. The study, co-commissioned with MATTER, Inc., has expanded beyond the US and UK to include Brazil, China, Germany, India, Korea and Turkey.

“This year’s findings show that the need for shared entertainment experiences is truly global,” said Gail Becker, chair, US Western Region, Canada and Latin America, Edelman. “Now more than ever, entertainment is fuelled by mobile and multiscreen access. This concept of ‘visual-tainment’ breaks down barriers, which increases people’s desire to share that content and experience with others – a trend that is particularly true in the emerging markets.”

Around the world, people are eager for more ways to interact with their entertainment, with the emerging markets – Brazil, China, India, Turkey and Korea – leading the trend. Overall, 42 per cent of survey respondents in the UK enhance their entertainment experience by simultaneously using another device. Moreover, respondents in emerging markets were more inclined to access additional content about their entertainment, such as deleted scenes, actor bios and “making of” content (76 per cent of respondents in emerging markets vs. 60 per cent for the U.S. and UK) and interact in real-time with what they are watching (75 per cent of respondents in emerging markets vs. 47 per cent in the U.S. and UK).

“More than ever, people are seeking out immersive experiences through entertainment,” said Jon Hargreaves, managing director, Technology, Edelman Europe. “Developing countries are leading the way in creating great content and building the infrastructure to provide people with access that allows them to interact whenever and wherever they want. The popularity of PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ is a great example.”

Online videos and social media have helped create a global connection, according to survey respondents. When asked if people felt more connected because of the content they have watched, over half of respondents in all countries agreed that it did (54 per cent agree). In the past year, respondents in the UK were also more open to watching online videos from far-flung places than they were a year ago (60 per cent) and the majority of respondents in the emerging markets had watched or listened to entertainment in a language they do not speak (60 per cent of respondents in emerging markets vs. 44 percent in the U.S. and UK)

Edelman’s sports, entertainment and experiential marketing unit, Matter, Inc, also looked into how people share entertainment and found that the majority of respondents are eager to share details about entertainment via their social networks. Globally, people who use social media are as likely to share information about entertainment as they are about their own personal lives or about their friends (76 per cent share entertainment; 75 per cent share about their own lives; 76 per cent share about their friends). However, in the UK, only 58 per cent use social media to share entertainment, 65 per cent share about their own lives and 61 oer cent share about their friends, The trend is more pronounced in the emerging markets with more than 80 per cent of respondents in those markets sharing comments, points of view and recommendations about entertainment.

People are also five times more likely to share a positive entertainment experience than a negative one (15 per cent of people in the UK use social media to share “joy/satisfaction” vs.4 per cent who “warn others not to watch”).

Also of note, brands are as influential as professional critics in driving entertainment spending: 44 per cent of UK respondents say they consume entertainment based on recommendations from a brand or product they like, the same percentage as those who based it on a positive review from a professional critic.

In the majority of countries surveyed, television is still the device of choice for watching entertainment, but laptops and mobile are gaining ground. The US, UK, India, Brazil and Germany mirrored each other, with television ranking as the most turned-to device for entertainment, followed by laptops at No. 2. In China and Korea, mobile phones were the No. 1 choice.

Additional study highlights include:

  •  60 per cent of people globally want to be able to watch content while simultaneously using a personal device to buy merchandise, vs 42 per cent in the UK. India leads the trend with 80 per cent of respondents wanting to engage in couch commerce.
  •  Around the world, people rate “personal recommendations” as their top influencer of entertainment consumption (In the UK, 38 per cent of respondents turn to a ‘real life’ friend or family member for recommendations).
  • In the UK, the importance of being the first to enjoy new entertainment rose from previous years, with nearly half ranking it as a key spending driver (39 per cent in 2013 vs. 17 per cent in 2011).

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