Nearly two-thirds of respondents in the 2013 “Edelman Global Entertainment Study” agree that watching and sharing entertainment online has increased their sense of global connection. The findings also highlight behavioral similarities and differences around entertainment consumption, social media interactions, overall engagement trends and distinctions between emerging and developed markets. Now in its seventh year, the study, co-commissioned with Matter, Inc., has expanded beyond the U.S. and U.K. 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, U.S. 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.”
People want an immersive and interactive experience with entertainment
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, seven-in-ten survey respondents (70 percent) 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 percent of respondents in emerging markets vs. 59 percent for the U.S., U.K. and Germany) and interact in real-time with what they are watching (75 percent of respondents in emerging markets vs. 47 percent in the U.S., U.K. and Germany).
“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 entertainment creates a global link
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, two-thirds of respondents in all countries agreed that it did (67 percent agree). In the past year, respondents were also more open to watching online videos from far-flung places than they were a year ago (63 percent) and the majority of respondents in the emerging markets had watched or listened to entertainment in a language they do not speak (60 percent of respondents in emerging markets vs. 41 percent in the U.S., U.K. and Germany).
Entertainment is as powerful a social media driver as personal content
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 percent share entertainment; 75 percent share about their own lives; 76 percent share about their friends). The trend is more pronounced in the emerging markets with more than 80 percent 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 (20 percent of people globally use social media to share “joy/satisfaction” vs. 4 percent who “warn others not to watch”).
Also of note, brands are as influential as professional critics in driving entertainment spending: 56 percent of 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.
“Traditional paid advertising is no longer enough for today’s brands,” said Andy Marks, managing director, Matter, Inc. “This data underscores what we increasingly see: brands that align with entertainment content, or create their own, connect and engage more deeply with fans. When you add social media sharing to the mix, you create powerful shared experiences that enable brands to leverage their audiences’ passions at a meaningful scale.”
TV still top entertainment device
In the majority of countries surveyed, television is still the device of choice for watching entertainment, but laptops and mobile are gaining ground. The U.S., U.K., 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 percent of people globally want to be able to watch content while simultaneously using a personal device to buy merchandise. India leads the trend with 80 percent of respondents wanting to engage in couch commerce.
Around the world, people rate “personal recommendations” as their top influencer of entertainment consumption (35 percent turn to a ‘real life’ friend or family member for recommendations).
In the U.S., 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 percent in 2013 vs. 17 percent in 2011).
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