David Bloom is a contributor to Deadline.
Frequent moviegoing has plummeted among entertainment options for Americans during the past three years, according to results of an annual survey by the public relations giant Edelman. The study, which looks at attitudes and preferences of U.S. and UK entertainment consumers and the impact of social media, was presented today at the Soho House in West Hollywood. It shows that TV remains the most-used source of entertainment (45% of Americans frequently turn to it for entertainment, and 58% in the UK), while the Internet continues to creep up in usage (34% of U.S., 27% of UK). The real loser, however, was “cinema/movies,” which now rate as a “frequent source of entertainment” among just 3% of U.S. consumers, down from 28% in the survey just two years ago.
“It confirms some of what we’ve been seeing with declining movie attendance, which had a 16-year low in 2011”, said Gail Becker, Edelman’s chair for the Western Region, Canada and Latin America. “But I think the bigger change is in the perceived value of entertainment content.” All categories of entertainment “moved up together in both countries”, she added. “It signifies how this entertainment ecosystem is lifting all boats”. Becker was referring to other survey findings that showed a huge uptick — in most cases doubling — in the value audiences put on six categories of entertainment: music, film, cable TV, satellite TV, social networks and games.
The survey results also show that bad entertainment products are swiftly and widely punished with negative comments on social media sites. That reality puts a greater premium than ever on creating really good content, because the bad stuff won’t survive long, said members of a panel discussing the survey results. “You can’t market your way out of a bad product anymore,” said Jonathan Anastas, VP Global Brand Marketing for Activision, the world’s largest game company. “People are spending more time on fewer brands. You have to have a great product and figure out how to activate those triggers in people (to get them engaged and watching). It’s a combination of top down and bottom up.”