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BizReport : Trends & Ideas : May 20, 2010


Edelman: Socnets blur boundary between information and entertainment

Consumers increasingly perceive social networks to be more a source of entertainment than information, according to new research from PR firm, Edelman, leading to a new trend - social entertainment.

by Helen Leggatt

As a whole, the Internet is now second only to television as a source of entertainment, found Edelman in their annual "Trust in the Entertainment Industry" survey which involved around 1,000 participants from the U.S. and the U.K.

The Internet's rise as an entertainment channel is most apparent among 18-34 year olds. In 2009 their use of the Internet as a frequent source of entertainment was 27%. This most recent study puts that figure at 42%.

"While not surprising that TV tops the list, seeing the Internet rank second as a source of entertainment - evolving from its origins as a source of information - is significant," said Gail Becker, President of Edelman's Western region.

What the survey also highlighted was that the boundaries between online socializing, entertainment and information are being blurred such that social networking websites like Facebook are evolving into "info-tainment" destinations or, as Edelman's NakedPheasant blog dubs it, social entertainment.

In fact, the majority of British and American Internet users involved in the survey perceived social networks to be sources of entertainment, a shift away from their traditional role as information providers and disseminators. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans and 61% of Brits expressed this view.

According to Edelman's recent announcement, "While social networking sites may not yet be recognized as entertainment companies, they are leading the way in terms of adding value to the consumer experience of entertainment. The majority of respondents in both the U.S. and the U.K. felt that social networking sites provide better value than music, gaming and television companies."






Tags: Internet trends, online entertainment, research, social networking, television, trends








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