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Edelman: Binge-Watching, Multiscreen Usage Rise

13 Jun, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey

Binge-watching TV shows is up in every major market, as is the percentage of consumers who multitask while watching entertainment, according to a new report from Edelman.

The percentage of U.S. consumers who binge-watch is at 94%, up from 86% in 2013, and the percentage of Chinese consumers reporting the same is even higher, 99%. In the United Kingdom, 89% said they binge-watch. Seventy-two percent of respondents said they binge-watch to “know what happens next” while 57% said they binge-watch to “feel caught up.”

On the multiscreen front, more than 80% of Chinese and 60% of U.S. and U.K. respondents said they are likely to use multiple devices to do something related to the content they are watching. Half of respondents said they are likely to use an app or website to interact with the content if the app or website was designed by the creator. Live events, including sports (U.S. 41%; U.K. 32%; China 49%) garner the highest rate of multiscreen engagement.

“Multiscreen behaviors are not new, but it is interesting that consumers are far more willing to engage with an app or some form of entertaining content regardless of who created it,” said Jon Hargreaves, managing director of technology for Edelman. “Discussions, analysis, content creation and other forms of sharing used to be relegated to super fans. Today, it’s ubiquitous.”

Sharing information about the entertainment they’re watching is also becoming increasingly important, with 68% in the U.S., 58% in the U.K. and 92% in China saying they do just that. U.S. and U.K. consumers are five times more likely than those in China warn others not to waste time or money on content.

“This year, we found that consumers want their entertainment ‘selfie-style’ — content centered on them, immediately gratifying, engaging and shareable across their social networks,” said Gail Becker, president of strategic partnerships and global integrations for Edelman. “Brands that can successfully deliver or enhance compelling entertainment to consumers stand to gain through positive word-of-mouth and association.”

More than half of U.S. consumers surveyed have recommended good or engaging entertainment content to a friend or colleague (53%), while 33% have shared that entertainment with their networks.

“We are seeing that consumers want to engage more than ever with entertainment content regardless of the source and are less likely to negatively impact poor content than they are to positively impact compelling content. This gives brands the license to explore how they can participate in creative ways,” Becker said.

Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they consider YouTube to be a valuable source of entertainment, and in the U.S. and the U.K., people are more likely to use other devices when watching entertainment alone (44% in the U.S. and 40% in the U.K.).

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