Americans more open to branded content than the British

NEW YORK: American consumers are more likely to appreciate brands recommending entertainment content on social media than the British are, according to a new survey from Edelman.

NEW YORK: American consumers are more likely to appreciate brands recommending entertainment content on social media than the British are, according to a new survey from Edelman.

The agency's Sixth Annual Value & Engagement in the Era of Social Entertainment and Second Screens survey, which  involved 2,022 participants aged between 18 and 54 across the US and UK, showed 39 percent of Britons find brand recommendations for entertainment to be invasive, compared to 26 percent of US respondents.

Comparatively, 32 percent of Americans appreciate the brand suggestion, compared to just 26 percent of Britons.

Gail Becker, chair of the Canada, Latin America, and US Western region for Edelman, said: "It is important for brands to be authentic. If that means there is an authentic way to connect with consumers via an entertainment property that is right and organic and authentic, that's great.”

She added that the times when brands are ineffective with recommending entertainment content is when consumers find it “forced or unnatural.”

The survey also revealed consumers find their time to be more important than money when it comes to entertainment.

“It used to be that value was only determined monetarily but, in today's' world, people also consider use of time as being valuable,” she said.

Value in entertainment related to social media networks increased 6 percent to 40 percent year over year, the survey found, which represents how “broadened the definition of what entertainment is and what value is” has become among consumers, added Becker.

Interaction and access with entertainment through social media has become increasingly important to consumers since 2011, according to the survey, which found 42 percent of US respondents and 31 percent in the UK like to interact with entertainment, such as voting online, increasing year over year by 15 percent and 8 percent respectively.

Television and internet remain the most popular sources for viewing entertainment for the third year in a row in both the US and the UK, the survey found. But cinema viewing is dropping in both countries, and Becker said the decrease may be attributed to how entertainment is changing from “sitting on the couch or in a theater” to being more interactive.

Sixteen percent of participants comment about entertainment content on social media before viewing it, 16 percent during, and 34 percent after. Becker said this information provides a “real opportunity for companies who want to make that entertainment conversation last.”

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