your friends are entertainment // 25 May 2011

This new research from Edelman is fascinating.

The 2011 [Value, Engagement and Trust in the Era of Social Entertainment] study shows that the value consumers are getting from the Entertainment Industry has fallen by 68% in all areas, and only 17% of all respondents feel that entertainment sources today provide "very good" or "excellent value."

Smartly, they're including social networking in their survey of entertainment types.

Social networking sites, which the majority of respondents believe are a form of entertainment, have remained stable with 31% of consumers in the U.K. and 37% in the U.S. saying they provided "very good" or "excellent" value.

Emphasis mine. Per their footnotes, 57% of people in the US and 45% of people in the UK view social networking as entertainment. All of this stands to reason: as the amount of content available to consumers increases, and the choice in delivery mechanisms increase, the perceived value of any one individual type of entertainment content is bound to decline. But it turns out that nothing beats your friends as a source of entertainment.

The whole release is worth reading. I have a different point of view than Edelman in re. What It Means -- it's not just about entertainment brands needing to figure out how to deliver content across multiple platforms; it's about needing to figure out how to create emotional connections with characters and stories that approach "friend" status. If you can make your content become part of their lives and identity, they'll seek it out in the channel(s) that's best for them.