LONDON and LOS ANGELES, May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Edelman, the world's largest independent public relations firm, today released findings from its fifth annual Value, Engagement and Trust in the Era of Social Entertainment(1) survey. The 2011 study shows that the value consumers are getting from the entertainment industry has fallen by 68 percent(2) in all areas, and only 17 percent of all respondents feel that entertainment sources(3) today provide "very good" or "excellent" value. Social networking sites, which the majority of respondents believe are a form of entertainment, have remained stable with 31 percent of consumers in the U.K. and 37 percent in the U.S. saying they provide "very good" or "excellent" value.
"A lower perception of value in the entertainment industry represents the commoditized nature of today's entertainment," said Gail Becker, president of Edelman's Western U.S. Region. "With so many forms of entertainment, consumers are spreading their attention across multiple platforms – leading to a decline in perceived value in any one format. Given the ongoing debate about revenue models and what we see from this year's study findings, entertainment companies have a real opportunity to regain trust by articulating a stronger value proposition to their consumers and by offering the opportunity to engage with them through multiple platforms."
The Value, Engagement and Trust in the Era of Social Entertainment survey also showed that the spread of consumers' time across multiple devices has increased. Fifty-nine percent of people in the U.K. and 53 percent in the U.S. spent more time on their laptops in the last year, and 49 percent of people in the U.K. and 52 percent in the U.S. spent more time on their mobile phones. More than half (52 percent(4)) of all respondents would like to use a computer to access further entertainment content, and 30 percent would like to be able to access that content on their mobile phones.
However, when comparing age groups, a much larger percentage of 18- to 29-year-olds (42 percent in the U.K. and 43 percent in the U.S.) would want access on a mobile phone compared to 30- to 44- and 45- to 54-year-olds (25 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in the U.K.; 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively, in the U.S.). Overall, the data shows that the youth market, above all other age groups, wants more access to content across multiple platforms.
"This may be due in part to the increased partnership between high quality entertainment output from other channels moving into the online space, but it may also reflect that users are now watching television while also surfing the web and using social networks on their smartphones," said Jon Hargreaves, managing director of Technology for Edelman Europe. "For the entertainment industry, if the Internet can add real value to offline content, we believe consumers would be willing to pay for it."
"Five years ago the entertainment industry viewed the Internet as a threat," said Hargreaves. "But now it's an opportunity for those same companies to monetize Internet content through simple revenue models. The paywall is often put in place as a simple way to monetize content; however, this is not the case for companies that charge for what was once free."
Overwhelmingly, consumers (84 percent in the U.K. and 88 percent in the U.S.) feel negatively about the move from free to paid entertainment services. The survey also reveals that paywalls created by entertainment sources for previously free services are being met with feelings of frustration and distrust by users. Some cite the lack of improvement in quality of service, while others state they would suspect a profit motive driven by greed.
The study also delivers insights on how content providers can try to overcome feelings of distrust about paywalls by delivering value in other ways. Eighty-seven percent of U.K. respondents (85 percent of U.S.) consider visual and sound quality important in making their entertainment purchasing decisions, and nearly half (47 percent in the U.K., 48 percent in the U.S.) consider the number of devices with which they can access the entertainment.
"The paywall is not a simple solution to the value problem plaguing the entertainment industry," said Becker. "Rather, it should be viewed as an opportunity to effectively articulate the value it represents for consumers rather than just explaining the business rationale for it."
As the study revealed last year, the Internet remained the second most frequently turned to form of entertainment in both countries for the second year in a row – while television remained the most frequent form of entertainment both in the U.K. and the U.S. (49 percent and 47 percent respectively), dropping 8 and 11 percent respectively since 2010.
"While most sources of entertainment are less used, this just means that people are spreading their consumption wider," said Hargreaves. "It is clear that to succeed in the era of social entertainment, entertainment companies must invest in multiple channels of distribution to enable consumers to access their content wherever and whenever. The Internet can be the connective tissue bringing content together."
Study highlights include:
- Four percent of U.K. consumers and 3 percent of U.S. consumers feel positive about the move to a paywalled service
- Forty-five percent of people in the U.K. and 57 percent in the U.S. believe social networking sites are a form of entertainment
- Personal enjoyment and visual/sound quality continue to top the list of purchase drivers with "being one of the first to have new entertainment" dropping significantly (to 14 percent, down from 40 percent in the U.K. and to 17 percent, down from 41 percent in the U.S.)
- More than half (52 percent(5)) of all respondents would like to use a computer to access further entertainment content, and 30 percent would like to be able to access that content on their mobile phone
- 49 percent of people in the U.K. and 52 percent in the U.S. believe they are spending more time than a year ago with their mobile phones to access their entertainment, while 59 percent (U.K.) and 53 percent (U.S.) spent more time with their laptop
For further information, please contact:
Latraviette D. Smith, Edelman: +01 212.704.4530 / Latraviette.Smith@edelman.com
Notes to Editors
About the Value, Engagement and Trust in the Era of Social Entertainment Survey
For the fifth year running, the Value, Engagement and Trust in the Era of Social Entertainment Survey explores consumer attitudes toward the entertainment industry in the U.K. and U.S. It examines consumer perceptions and behaviors as they relate to consumption habits, purchase recommendations, file downloading and sharing.
The Value, Engagement and Trust in the Era of Social Entertainment Survey is an annual online survey among 18- to 54-year-old consumers in the U.K. and U.S. and was conducted between February 22 and February 28, 2011. The sample comprised 1,017 respondents, 500 from the U.K. and 517 from the U.S.
Edelman is the world's largest independent public relations firm, with wholly owned offices in 53 cities and 3,700 employees worldwide. Edelman was named Advertising Age's top-ranked PR firm of the decade and one of its "2010 A-List Agencies" and "2010 Best Places to Work;" PRWeek's "2011 Large PR Agency of the Year" and "2009 Agency of the Year;" European Excellence Awards' "2010 Agency of the Year;" Holmes Report's "Agency of the Decade" and "2009 Asia Pacific Consultancy of the Year;" and among Glassdoor's top five "2011 Best Places to Work." Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), StrategyOne (research), Ruth (integrated marketing), DJE Science (medical education/publishing and science communications), and MATTER (sports, sponsorship and entertainment). Visit www.edelman.com for more information.
(1) Formerly referred to as the Trust in Entertainment survey
(2) The average of the total reduction in perception of value across all industry sectors in the U.K. and U.S. from 2010 to 2011. U.K. average 2010: 24.26 percent; 2011: 16.17 percent. U.S. average 2010: 34.33 percent; 2011: 18.67 percent.
(3) Includes social networking sites, film producers/movie studios, music companies, gaming companies, cable television providers and satellite television providers.
(4) Both U.K. and the U.S. scored 52 percent for this question
(5) Both U.K. and the U.S. scored 52 percent for this question