Young consumers’ passion for digital entertainment does not mean the end of its offline counterpart. According to a new Report from Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), movie theaters, CD players, and stadiums remain their favorites for experiencing entertainment, while the Net gains influence on how young Net surfers choose entertainment options. Chat and Web sites hold greater sway over entertainment choices than TV ads and movie previews — supporting the argument for integrated on- and offline campaigns.
“Although young Net surfers spend 10 hours per week online, they prefer having fun offline,” said Ekaterina O. Walsh, Ph.D., analyst at Forrester. “In fact, the Web often stimulates — rather than depresses — offline entertainment. A quarter of online young consumers report spending more on CDs, concert tickets, videos/DVDs, and computer games since going online.”
While offline consumption remains the preferred choice, the Net amasses growing importance as an influencer of both on- and offline entertainment choices. Almost 60% of wired 16- to 22-year-olds research entertainment choices online, while an even greater number visit sites dedicated to movies or recording artists without specifically intending to do research. Young consumers’ top reason for exploring entertainment on the Net is convenience, with two-thirds reporting that more information is available online. Seven out of 10 young consumers who surf entertainment online admit that the research directly influences the CDs they buy, the games they play, and the films they see.
Analyzing how offline and online promotion influence entertainment consumption, Forrester found that Web sites and emails are as effective as offline promotion in magazine ads, billboards, and theater previews. Word of mouth earns the highest value in offline promotion, while tips gathered in chat rooms and instant messages lead for online promotion. Comparing individual offline promotion tools with online ones revealed that Web promotion surpasses the power of television.
“MTV.com, MP3.com, disney.com, uproar.com, and blairwitch.com are the favored Web sites among young adults — between one-third and one-half of online young consumers have visited these sites and rate them highly,” added Walsh.
The top five leading sites provide young consumers with what they most desire — information that is in-depth, up-to-date, easy to access, and unique to the Web. Although video and audio are still popular, young consumers are tired of plug-ins. Along with word of mouth, young Net surfers find sites via search engine results, TV ads, hyperlinks, banners, print and radio ads, chat, and email from marketers.
For the Report “Entertaining Young Net Surfers,” Forrester twice surveyed more than 10,000 young Net surfers in North America on their attitudes and behaviors regarding shopping online and purchasing on- and offline. Young consumers spend up to 61 hours per week and $26.9 billion per year going to the movies, listening to CDs, and playing videogames.