Consumers have access to more free and low-cost digital entertainment options than ever before. Many of these options stem from online formats like movies, TV shows, and even social networking. Yet only 17% of consumers say these entertainment sources are ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. This low level of appreciation presents an opportunity for marketers to position themselves as merchants of quality content.
According to the Value, Engagement and Trust in the Era of Social Entertainment study carried out by Edelman for the 5th year in a row, consumers are spending more time using digital devices. In the U.S., over half of adults increased the number of hours they devoted to their computer and mobile phone screens. And a significant percentage indicated a willingness to spend even more time accessing digital content. At least 43% of 18–29 year olds would access more content via smartphones while 20% of 45–54 year olds say the same thing. Gail Becker, the present of Edelman Western U.S. Region cautions that this is not necessary a good trend for content providers. “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.”
For now, one form of entertainment that has maintained its value for consumers is social networking. Over 37% of U.S. consumers say it has ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ value. This may be because social networks are still free. Consumers widely regard any move by a content provider to put previously free services behind a pay wall as unfair. Edelman analyst says that when a marketer moves content behind a pay wall, a good promotional campaign could improve consumer sentiment. The best features to market in this cases are:
- Improved visual and sound quality
- Allowing access through numerous devices
- Being the first to have the latest option in entertainment
Content providers should also heed the general trend of consumers accessing data through many different devices. TV remains at the top of the list for 47% of U.S. adults but it dropped 11% in the past year. Marketers will need to promote their offerings as superior and available in multiple venues to be attractive to both consumers and advertisers.[Source: Study Finds Fragmentation of Audience Attention Leads to Decline in Perceived Value of Entertainment. Edelman.com. 25 May 2011. Web. 7 Jun. 2011]