THR Poll: 9 out of 10 Call Social Media New Form of Entertainment; Young People Want Texting in Movies

Movie Theater Audience - H 2012
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Movie Theater Audience - H 2012

In an exclusive study, THR and Penn Schoen Berland reveal Facebook and Twitter's influence over what entertainment users watch, reject and write about.

This story first appeared in the March 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

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.

PHOTOS: THR's Social Media Poll: How Facebook and Twitter Impact the Entertainment Industry

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.”

Other interesting findings from THR's poll:

  • 88% of people consider visiting and posting on social networking sites a form of entertainment.
  • 70% of consumers have listened to music by an artist based primarily on what a friend posted on a social networking site.
  • 79% of respondents always or sometimes visit Facebook while watching television.
  • 98% of all social networkers are Facebook members, while only 56% of social networkers are Twitter members.

View all of THR's exclusive findings on social media and entertainment here.