The Social Media Poll: New Forms

There's a sea change afoot in how Americans discover and consume entertainment. That's the finding of an exclusive poll by market research firm Penn Schoen Berland for The Hollywood Reporter. Nine of 10 respondents view social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook as a new form of entertainment, and more than half say social media sites are important tastemakers in determining what to watch and buy. Perhaps more surprising, 80 percent of television viewers visit Facebook while they watch. "Social media is the connective tissue that enables consumers to multitask during their entertainment experiences by connecting with others and sharing their opinions," notes pollster Jon Penn of the findings, based on a survey of 750 social network users ages 13 to 49. And film moguls, take note: The poll found that a majority of 18-to-34-year-olds 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. "Millennials want their public moviegoing experience to replicate their own private media experiences," says Penn. "Having dedicated social-media-friendly seats, or even entire theaters, can make the moviegoing experience more relevant and enjoyable for them."