India leads the world in sharing content, according to Edelman’s Global Entertainment Study

We spoke to Jonathan Hargreaves, Head of Technology, Edelman Europe about the Edelman Global Entertainment Study 2013, to find out his thoughts on the findings.

The annual study, now in its seventh year and conducted for the first time in India, looks into consumers attitudes on entertainment. Which, in turn will have an impact on how the communications industry will plan campaigns/strategies to ensure greater interaction and reach between brands and their consumers.

Jonathan Hargreaves shared his thoughts regarding India-specific and the global findings of the study:

What are the main findings of the report pertaining to India?

The study, has been introduced in India for the first time and reveals interesting findings, including how India tips other developed countries like the U.S. and U.K, by 23% when it comes to sharing useful information. The study also reveals that television remains the top choice for entertainment in India with laptops being the close second.

Almost 89% of useful information (defined as information that would be something useful to friends, family or people known online and in real life – like news, ‘how to’ videos, etc.) is shared in India compared to 66% in developed countries, like the U.S. and U.K, as can be seen in the image below.








The other key trends in India are highlighted below:

  • 91% of individuals watch more than one episode of their favourite TV show in one sitting – higher than the global average
  • India leads globally – 87% of Indians access additional online content related to their entertainment, and 85% use social networks to interact with talent from the entertainment they like
  • 82% of Indians vote for their favorite contestants on reality TV or music talent shows –  more than 20% higher than the global average
  • 80% of Indians watch content while simultaneously using their personal devices to buy merchandise –  again 20% higher than the global average

What are the reasons behind our mobile consumption behaviour?

More than ever, people are seeking out immersive experiences through entertainment. Developing countries are leading the way in creating great content and building the infrastructure to provide people with access that allows them to interact whenever and wherever they want. With the smart phone phenomenon gaining traction in India, it provides greater access to entertaining content thereby boosting the mobile consumption among Indians.

What does this increased mobile and online consumption mean for the advertising and communications fraternity?

Increased online and mobile penetration has three major impacts.

Firstly, it opens up new consumer markets, particularly to video content, enhancing the reach of campaigns as well as increasing frequency of a message reaching the consumer.

Secondly, it deepens the engagement, making connection interactive and this increases participation as well as the consumer experience.

Thirdly, it brings new experiences whether this is Twitter interaction with celebrities or new visuals presentation. Perhaps the greatest development is the ability to personalise these new experiences. This will dramatically change lives in the future.

What insights can you offer to communicators based on this report?

The key drivers of the global entertainment phenomena are:

Global Immersion and Emotional Captivity: The 2013 research showed an overwhelming desire in all countries surveyed for immersion and interactivity entertainment. This content is emotionally driven and analysis highlighted that these audiences were emotionally captivated by this new content, with a global need expressed by 70% of those asked, to use content as an ‘experience enhancer’.

Multi-tasking and Sharing as the New Norm: Again in all markets, there was a trend toward multi-tasking with 96% of those surveyed claiming to multi-task between electronic devices to access content and importantly, a strong preference to using this behaviour to share their experiences. The global reach of visual-tainment is a new development and is driving deeper feelings of connectivity. Sixty seven percent of people agreed that ‘because of some of the entertainment content I’ve seen from all over the world I feel humans are more connected than ever before’.

Sharing Entertainment and Joy: A key element of this sharing at a global level was the desire to share positive experiences emotions and joy. Globally people were 5 times more likely to share positive news than negative and with consumers for emerging markets significantly keener to share joy (23%) as in developed markets (16%). Overall 77% of people were keen to share funny content.

Visual Addiction and Visual-tainment: The majority of respondents felt online entertainment creates global connectivity and this is driven by visual content. Sixty three per cent of respondents agreeing that ‘I am more open to watching online videos from far flung places than I was a year ago’. This reveals a new visual approach to entertainment and content that we call ‘visual-tainment’ and an almost addictive approach to visual content as typified by phenomenally successful video downloads such as Gangnam Style.

More platforms and More Open Minds: Clearly more platforms are being used to consume entertainment and more so in emerging markets. TV remained the number one in UK, US and Germany but laptops and mobile devices were closing fast. In Korea and China mobile devices are already the number one choice. Furthermore, sharing entertainment de-stigmatises choices with six times as many people proud of their choices rather than embarrassed. Again, 62% of people agreed ‘Social media has allowed me to absorb and share content from all over the world.’

Is public relations moving towards visual communications? (With regard to incorporating visual elements in press releases, etc.)

The obvious implication of the study is for visual communications to take precedence. The visual has to completely tell the story, in a way that makes it overwhelming in terms of colour, novelty and emotion. It needs to do so in a way that is addictively ‘shareable’ and showable on a mobile format. So the visual becomes the source of entertainment conversation and social currency. This can involve giving the concept over to the audience to re-interpret and create themselves as pastiche. In this way the visual becomes Visual-tainment and there is an opportunity for public relations to move towards this.

Jonathan Hargreaves, Head of Technology, Edelman Europe