A new study by Edelman indicates that the internet, as a source of entertainment, is second only to television. And, it's social networking which is boosting this continuing rise in usage.
The most dramatic shift in the internet being a source of entertainment is, not surprisingly, among the 18-34 age group, rising from 27% in 2009 to 42% in 2010. Among a wider audience, 18-54, 32% of those look most frequently to the internet for entertainment compared to 58% watching TV.
As for social networks, 73% of 18-24 year olds see networks as a form of entertainment compared with 50% among 35-49 year olds.
What's interesting is that even with this continued usage shift, consumers don't view internet brands as entertainment companies. Gail Becker, President of Edelman's Western Region, said, "We believe all companies today exist in this new era that we call social entertainment and we will continue to see its influence on how consumers and companies engage with entertainment and each other."
Why is this an important issue? More and more consumers are paying for their entertainment content meaning that trust will play an even more important role in where they buy and who they buy from. Thus, building a brand which consumers trust and find to be of high quality is key for these "new" entertainment offerings.