Edelman Study Finds Consumers Want Entertainment ‘Selfie-Style’

written by: Richard Kastelein

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shutterstock 87652201Edelman has recently released the results from its eighth annual study on how and why people consume and share entertainment. The study’s findings for the U.S., UK and China highlight consumers’ expectations for unprecedented control over their entertainment experience.
“This year, we found that consumers want their entertainment ‘selfie-style’ – content centered on them, immediately gratifying, engaging and shareable across their social networks,” said Gail Becker, president, strategic partnerships and global integrations, Edelman. “Brands that can successfully deliver or enhance compelling entertainment to consumers stand to gain through positive word-of-mouth and association.”
“We are seeing that consumers want to engage more than ever with entertainment content regardless of the source and are less likely to negatively impact poor content than they are to positively impact compelling content. This gives brands the license to explore how they can participate in creative ways,” concluded Becker.
Immediate Gratification – Binge-watching Continues to Escalate

With skyrocketing access to online and on-demand content, binge-watching television shows is pervasive across respondents in all markets surveyed (U.S.: 94 percent; UK: 89 percent; China: 99 percent). The percentage of U.S. consumers who binge-watch has increased significantly in the past year (up from 86 percent in 2013), bringing them closer to China’s almost universal prevalence.

Interestingly, the desire to satisfy people’s internal needs are the primary drivers for binge-watching, with 72 percent of respondents watching so they “know what happens next” and 57 percent noting that they do so to “feel caught up.” Avoiding “hearing about entertainment content before getting to watch it” also motivates consumers to binge-watch (24 percent), though it is less so.

Multi-screen Moments

Respondents in all markets multi-task while watching entertainment. Of those who do, more than 80 percent of Chinese and 60 percent of U.S. and UK respondents are likely to use multiple devices to do something related to the content they are watching. The desire for engagement leaves an opportunity for brands to fill the void with content. This is highlighted in the findings that show half of respondents are likely to use an app or website to interact with the content if it was designed by the creator (U.S.: 56 percent; UK: 46 percent; China: 81 percent) or not designed by the creator (U.S.: 52 percent; UK: 44 percent; China: 71 percent).

“Multi-screen behaviors are not new, but it is interesting that consumers are far more willing to engage with an app or some form of entertaining content regardless of who created it,” said Jon Hargreaves, managing director, TechnologyEurope & CIS, Edelman. “Discussions, analysis, content creation and other forms of sharing used to be relegated to superfans. Today, it’s ubiquitous.”

Multi-screen usage is most prominent for moments usually seen as “live” events; such as sports (U.S.: 47 percent; UK: 39 percent; China: 41 percent), entertainment events (U.S.: 41 percent; UK: 32 percent; China: 49 percent) and national crisis (U.S.: 36 percent; UK: 33 percent; China: 39 percent).

Sharing Entertainment Experiences Vital 

Across all markets, respondents are as likely to share information about entertainment content (U.S.: 68 percent; UK: 58 percent; China: 92 percent) as they are to share about their friends (U.S.: 70 percent; UK: 59 percent; China: 89 percent).

This year’s study also shows that consumers share entertainment content primarily to express opinions (U.S. and UK: 56 percent; China: 63 percent) and express excitement about things in their lives (U.S.: 46 percent; UK: 40 percent; China: 75 percent). U.S. and UK consumers are five times more likely than those in China to share in an effort to warn others not to waste time or money on content that is not entertaining (U.S.: 22 percent; UK: 21 percent; China: 4 percent).

Exciting Content Captures Consumers and Produces Social Media Benefits

More than half of U.S. consumers surveyed have recommended good or engaging entertainment content to a friend or colleague (53 percent), one-third have shared that entertainment with their networks (33 percent) and 41 percenthave paid attention to future content as a result of their experience. Respondents have also purchased products or services from companies that produced good content (37 percent).

Notably, U.S. respondents consider recommendations from brands (53 percent) to be as important as positive reviews from professional critics (52 percent) for their spending decisions.

In contrast, “boring” content does not instigate as much action, with only a third of U.S. consumers studied saying they have criticized companies that produce bad content (34 percent). More than a quarter have refused to buy the company’s product or service (26 percent) or have ignored future content (27 percent).

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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