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Edelman Study Finds Perceived Value in the Entertainment Industry at Three-Year High, but Audiences Want to Stay in Control

NEW YORK, LONDON and LOS ANGELES, June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Edelman, the world's largest public relations firm, today released findings from its sixth annual "Value & Engagement in the Era of Social Entertainment and Second Screens"(1) survey. The study findings highlight that perceived consumer value in the entertainment industry is at a three-year high this year, following the slump in opinion shown in 2011's data.

Value is Up

Perceived value in entertainment is at a three-year high. Respondents see the most value in social networking sites at 40 percent, up from 34 percent last year, with perceived value in all entertainment sectors up significantly, nearly doubling from last year's findings.

"This year's study shows how far the industry has come in demonstrating the value proposition of entertainment today," said Gail Becker, chair, U.S. Western Region, Canada and Latin America, Edelman. "Value can represent cost, but a consumer's time is also a contributor to value in today's world."  

Shift in Frequent Sources of Entertainment

Television and the Internet remain the most utilized sources of entertainment year-over-year, with cinema viewership declining for the third year running. However, audiences are increasingly turning to other devices to watch entertainment content. Over half of survey respondents (54 percent in the UK 51 percent in the U.S.) turn to their laptop computer to watch entertainment. Despite the proliferation and excitement around tablets, only 10 percent of respondents in the UK and 14 percent in the U.S. use one to watch entertainment.

Enjoyment and Quality Come First

This year, personal enjoyment and visual and sound quality remain the top purchase drivers of entertainment. When asked what people would sacrifice to get their entertainment for free, nearly half of UK (48 percent) and U.S. (50 percent) respondents are willing to watch advertisements in exchange for free entertainment, but won't compromise on privacy.   

"Over the past six years, privacy has always been the one factor that audiences are not willing to sacrifice," said Jon Hargreaves, managing director, technology, Edelman Europe. "However, the notion of privacy and personal information is shifting. With governments looking to regulate privacy issues around the world, it is clear that entertainment companies and brands will need to continue to take the issue of privacy very seriously." 

Social Chatter and the Conversation Curve

When it comes to automatically sharing what they're reading or viewing on social networks, the majority of respondents are unlikely to use automatic notifications. However, consistent with cultural differences, U.S. respondents are twice as likely (27 percent) to auto-share. 

When it comes to brands recommending content, nearly a third of all survey respondents (29 percent) appreciate the recommendation, 39 percent of UK respondents find the same approach invasive, and 15 percent would feel negatively about a brand as a result of any recommendation.

"Much of the insight we can glean from this survey can also be applied to the creation and curation of content by brands," said Andy Marks, general manager, MATTER, Edelman Sports & Entertainment Marketing. "At the end of the day, audiences want and expect to be entertained. If done organically, branded entertainment can be a powerful vehicle to connect brands to their audiences, driving conversations on and off line."

This year's survey also shows that when it comes to sharing opinions on entertainment content, telling a friend or family member is the dominant action. American respondents are slightly more focused on sharing content online - where 38 percent (vs. 29 percent in the UK) would 'like' the content on Facebook and 29 percent (23 percent in the UK) would share a link about it on a social network.  

When audiences do comment about entertainment content online, 34 percent of all survey respondents comment after they have watched or listened to entertainment content, which is a little more than double the number who comment before or during (16 percent).

"Two things are clear this year. Audiences want complementary experiences on second screens. They do not want to be distracted, which is why they are more likely to comment online after viewing," said Becker. "Social networks offer great opportunities to brands, but audiences want to remain in control, and do not want to automatically share what they are viewing."

Additional study highlights include:

  • 88 percent of UK and U.S. respondents will take action if they enjoy a piece of entertainment, compared to 74 percent if they don't enjoy it
  • Of those respondents who would share a link about content they've enjoyed on a social networking site, 50 percent of UK consumers and 58 percent of U.S. consumers would use Facebook
  • Almost half of U.S. (42 percent) and a third of UK (31 percent) respondents like being able to interact with entertainment, such as the ability to vote – an increase of 15 percent and 8 percent respectively on last year's results
  • Free merchandise is seen as the biggest incentive to encourage viewership of content on social media sites for 49 percent of UK and U.S. respondents

About the Value & Engagement in the Era of Social Entertainment and Second Screens Survey

For the sixth year running, the Value & Engagement in the Era of Social Entertainment and Second Screens Survey explores consumer attitudes towards the entertainment industry in the UK and U.S. It examines consumer perceptions and behaviors as they relate to consumption habits, purchase recommendations, file downloading and sharing.

The Value & Engagement in the Era of Social Entertainment and Second Screens Survey is an annual online survey among 18 to 54-year-old consumers in the UK and U.S. which was conducted between April 12-15, 2012. The sample comprised of 2,022 respondents, 1,012 from the UK and 1,010 from the U.S. The research was commissioned by Edelman and MATTER (a new internal stakeholder in 2012), and conducted by StrategyOne, an independent market research firm.

About Edelman

Edelman is the world's largest public relations firm, with 63 offices and more than 4,400 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 "2011 Global Agency of the Year" and its 2011 "North American Large 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 five "2011 Best Places to Work." Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), MATTER (sports, sponsorship, and entertainment), A&R Edelman (technology), First&42nd (management consultancy), DJE Science (medical education and biotech), and agencies Edelman Significa (Brazil), and Pegasus (China). Visit for more information.

(1) Formerly referred to as the Edelman Value, Engagement and Trust in the Era of Social Entertainment Survey or the Trust in Entertainment survey

SOURCE Edelman

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