Study: Digital entertainment increases global bond

NEW YORK: Online entertainment has boosted viewers' sense of a global connection as they increasingly access content from different parts of the world, according to a new study.

NEW YORK: Online entertainment has boosted viewers' sense of a global connection as they increasingly access content from different parts of the world, according to a new study.

The annual Global Entertainment Study, by Edelman and its sports and entertainment marketing firm Matter, is based on a survey of 6,500 18 to 54-year-olds in the US, UK, Brazil, China, India, Germany, Korea, and Turkey that was conducted in April 2013.

According to the study, 67% of respondents believe watching and sharing entertainment online has increased their sense of global connection. Meanwhile, 63% viewed more online videos from distant places than a year ago.

The desire for interactive viewing experiences has also increased, the study found. Seven out of 10 respondents said they enhance their viewing experience by simultaneously using another device. This trend was stronger in the emerging countries studied, where 75% of respondents interact with what they are viewing, compared to 47% in the US, UK, and Germany.

Gail Becker, chair of Canada, Latin America, and US Western Region at Edelman, said an example of this globalization of entertainment is the “massive success” of Korean popstar Psy's music video “Gangnam Style,” which is an “interesting phenomenon” given that people from around the world were watching it in a language they do not speak.

“We are living in a very global ecosystem and we should all be thinking more globally. But the study shows this has even more powerful implications for entertainment companies, brands that want to be perceived as entertainment companies, and content producers,” she added.

The study found that, on social media, entertainment is driving as much content as posts about users' personal lives and friends. Of the respondents, 76% share information about entertainment on social media, while the same percentage share information about their friends, and 75% share information about their own lives.

Brands have also become as influential as professional critics in driving entertainment viewing. Just over half of respondents (56%) said they will consume entertainment if it has been recommended by a brand or product they like, the same percentage of those who consume it based on a positive review by a critic.

“It shows brands are much more engaged and have a different relationship with consumers than they used to. They have built up more trust and are being much more authentic on social media,” said Becker.

Television remains the most popular device for watching entertainment in the US, while in China and Korea it is the mobile phone, followed by laptops.

“Couch commerce” is another trend to emerge from the study, where six out of 10 adults want to use a device to buy products while simultaneously watching entertainment.

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