For most of us, particularly in the media business, the word “entertainment,” is synonymous with content: movies, television programs, music, books, and the like. The better the content, the more “entertaining” it is. However, a new study released today highlights that the majority of consumers now have a different definition of entertainment, one that extends beyond content to include interactions that they have via social networking sites. Given this, publishers need to reevaluate the business they are in. In a world of Publishing 2.0, we are in the audience business, not the content business.
Today, Edelman released summary findings of its fourth annual Trust in the Entertainment Industry study. The notable highlight is that over 70% of people 18-34 in the U.S. consider social networking to be a form of entertainment. Over the past year, Edelman found a significant rise in the number of people who consider the web a source of entertainment; in 2010 the Internet surpassed movies and is now second only to TV. Additionally, out of all of the entertainment categories, social networking scored the highest in perceived value, with 40% of U.S. respondents saying that it offers excellent or very good value.
This highlights how the entertainment sector is undergoing an experience revolution, with consumers revealing that not only is social networking displacing traditional media as a significant mode of entertainment; but that they appreciate that social networking provides better value than other options.
The implications for publishers are clear: by creating compelling, interactive experiences for consumers, we not only get them more deeply engaged but can also increase their perception of our value.