Edelman Study Finds Consumers Want Entertainment 'Selfie-Style'

Immediate, Engaging and Socially Driven Content Fundamental to Today's Experience

Jun 12, 2014, 16:15 ET from Edelman

LOS ANGELES, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Edelman today releases 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."

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, Technology, Europe & 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 percent have 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).

"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.

Additional study highlights include:

  • Seventy-nine percent of respondents say they consider YouTube to be a valuable source of entertainment.
  • In the U.S. and the UK, people are more likely to use other devices when watching entertainment alone (U.S.: 44 percent; UK: 40 percent) than they are to avoid using multiple devices when watching with others (U.S.: 33 percent; UK: 34 percent).
  • TV shows are the number one most turned to source for entertainment in all markets.

About the Entertainment Study
Now in its eighth year, the annual Edelman Entertainment Study explores consumer attitudes towards the entertainment industry. It examines consumer perceptions and behaviors as they relate to consumption habits, purchase recommendations and sharing.

The Entertainment Study is commissioned by Edelman and Matter, Inc. and conducted by research firm Edelman Berland. The survey was conducted online April 2-16, 2014 among 18 to 54-year-old consumers in China, the UK and the U.S. The sample comprised 3,000 respondents: 1,000 each in the U.S., UK, and China. The margin of error for global data is plus or minus 1.8 percentage points in 95 out of 100 cases. The margin of error for individual countries with 1,000 interviews is 3.1 percentage points in 95 out of 100 cases.

About Edelman
Edelman is the world's largest public relations firm, with 67 offices and more than 4,800 employees worldwide, as well as affiliates in more than 30 cities. Edelman was named Advertising Age's top-ranked PR firm of the decade in 2009 and one of its "A-List Agencies" in both 2010 and 2011; Adweek's "2011 PR Agency of the Year;" PRWeek's "2011 Large PR Agency of the Year;" and The Holmes Report's "2013 Global Agency of the Year" and its 2012 "Digital Agency of the Year." Edelman was named one of the "Best Places to Work" by Advertising Age in 2010 and 2012 and among Glassdoor's top ten "Best Places to Work" in 2011 and 2012. Edelman owns specialty firms Edelman Berland (research), Blue (advertising), BioScience Communications (medical communications), and agencies Edelman Significa (Brazil), and Pegasus (China). Visit http://www.edelman.com for more information.

About MATTER, Inc.
MATTER® is the sports, entertainment and experiential marketing unit of the Daniel J. Edelman family of companies serving clients globally who are looking for a unique, deep and sustained audience connection. MATTER's expertise across sponsorship, branded entertainment, brand experiences, communications and full-service creative helps forge powerful bonds between brands and audiences by harnessing people's passion for shared experiences. MATTER has more than 80 employees with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and representatives in Austin, Portland, Seattle and Sao Paulo. For more information about MATTER, please visit www.MATTER-INC.com.

About Edelman Berland
Edelman Berland is a global, full-service market research firm that provides corporate, non-profit and government clients with strategic intelligence to make their communications and engagements with stakeholders the smartest they can be. The firm specializes in qualitative and quantitative research, measurement, tracking and analysis in reputation, branding and communications. Edelman Berland has more than 100 employees in offices around the world.  For more information, please visit www.edelmanberland.com. Edelman Berland: Intelligent Engagement.

SOURCE Edelman