Traditional media lose ground to social media, Edelman report finds

A new Edelman survey has found that consumers are spending less time interacting with traditional entertainment and more time using social media.

Edelman report: consumers turning to social media
Edelman report: consumers turning to social media

The 2011 Edelman Value, Engagement and Trust in the Era of Social Entertainment Survey found that of all entertainment sources, only social networking sites retained steady levels of value (31 per cent in the UK).

The study found that 63 per cent of UK consumers spend more time than a year ago on the internet for their entertainment needs and that 40 per cent spend more time on social media than in 2010.

‘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,’ said Gail Becker, president of Edelman’s Western US Region.

The results suggest that PROs should increasingly look to social media to influence consumers and downscale their use of traditional media.

‘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,’ added Becker.

More than half of all respondents would like to use a computer to access further entertainment content, and 30 per cent would like to be able to access that content on their mobile phone.

‘Five years ago the entertainment industry viewed the internet as a threat,’ said Jon Hargreaves, managing director of technology for Edelman Europe. ‘But now it’s an opportunity for those same companies to monetise internet content through simple revenue models. The paywall is often put in place as a simple way to monetise content; however, this is not the case for companies that charge for what was once free.’

Overwhelmingly, consumers (84 per cent) feel negatively about the move from free to paid entertainment services. The survey also reveals that paywalls created for previously free services are being met with feelings of frustration and distrust. Respondents (87 per cent) feel visual and sound quality important in making their entertainment purchasing decisions and nearly half (47 per cent) in consider the number of devices with which they can access the entertainment important.

Hargreaves added: ‘It is clear that to succeed in the era of social entertainment you 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

  • 45% of people in the UK believe social networking sites are a form of entertainment
  • 84% of UK consumers feel negatively about the move from free to paid entertainment services
  • 59% of people in the UK spent more time on their laptops in the last year

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