Do you consider checking your Instagram and Facebook newsfeed entertaining? I do! I even refresh the feed more than once in a two-minute period… I’ll admit it.
Social media has become a new form of entertainment. According to a research study performed by Penn Schoen Berland in the Hollywood Reporter, 88% of consumers increasingly use Facebook and Twitter to supplement traditional entertainment experiences. Within the study, it was found that consumers spend more time on social media platforms on a weekly basis than watching TV, viewing films, or finding clips on YouTube; even more than listening to music and texting. Even when people are watching TV or films, they are also on social media. The platforms act as a sort of connective tissue allowing consumers to multitask during their entertainment experience.
Who benefits from consumers multitasking while watching TV or films? The shows and films that consumers are loving and posting about. From the study, comedy, reality TV, sports, and cable news are the categories of shows most posted about. Almost one quarter of Facebook users post about what they are watching while over one-fifth of tweeters post about what they are watching.
Do people actually care enough about what other post online to influence their own movie or television choices? YES. One in three social networkers has decided to see a movie in a theater because of something they read on a social networking site. The study found that 72 percent of respondents post about movies on social networking sites after watching a film, while 20 percent post before, and 8 percent post during a viewing. Horror and younger-skewing film genres benefit most from social networking. Do you want a specific example? Paranormal Activity 3. More than 6 percent of respondents saw the film based in part on social networking sites.
You Can't Resist. Can You?
Social networking is not limited to at-home movie or television watching. The poll found that a majority of Millenials (those aged 18-to-34-year-old) believe using social media while watching a movie in a theater would add to their experience, and nearly half would be interested in going to theaters that allowed texting and web surfing. Users were asked what they do on their mobile device, if they use it in a theater. About 55% text, 27% visit Facebook, and 19% make a phone call. And YET 75% of people (all ages) on social networks in this poll say that being able to use their phone in a theater would make the experience less satisfying and more distracting.
Social media has clearly impacted the entertainment industry, as most television viewers and moviegoers consider it an irresistible form of entertainment. Social networks have revolutionized the “traditional” entertainment experience now that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are used to supplement viewing. Even more, the mediums by which consumers watch TV and films is no longer on "traditional" mediums: online streaming sites and recording devices have replaced television sets and in-theater screenings. Both the TV and Film industries alike must respond quicker than ever to the change in viewers habits.
Source: " THR's Social Media Poll: How Twitter and Facebook Impact the Entertainment Industry" <http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/facebook-twitter-social-media-study-302273#1-social-media-as-entertainment>