Reports Media & Marketing

Attention economy Reasons, not ways, to spend attention

Report by Hanna Kahlert
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20,000 foot view:  Audiences are consuming in different ways, on different platforms, and at different times – from lean-back passive viewing, to lean-forward on-demand, lean-in social engagement, and lean-through creation. Web        largely driven by AI, will not change this. However, the resulting content saturation (in addition to existing attention saturation) will inflate the existing challenges that entertainment companies face in vying for limited audience focus. Thus, it is important for all entertainment companies to understand where they are meeting their audiences, and why.

Key insights 

  • Audiences already have enough ways to spend their attention. What they need now are reasons to do so 
  • Ultimately, all platforms compete, but each fits a different content and contextual niche in audiences’ entertainment lives 
  • User behaviour does not always favour platforms’ mass-audience approach. Only        of consumers post with the hope of going viral, while only        post for networking / promotional purposes 
  • The majority of consumers are either neutral        or negatively inclined        towards more social features on entertainment platforms
  • However, entertainment genres are being split by social, with previously static forms of ‘packaging’ and distribution now becoming fluid and interactive
  • With the introduction of AI capabilities in the hands of audiences, these new distinctions will become more pronounced and simultaneously less relevant to consumers 
  • Entertainment companies should hone in on the context of the usage of their platforms and offerings, rather than just greedily hunting for a little bit of everything 
  • Brands must also be increasingly aware of the broader issues that matter to their audiences – especially as digital entertainment becomes commodified and increasingly competitive

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: AOL, BandLab, BeReal, Facebook, GarageBand, Meta, Instagram, Myspace, Netflix, Snapchat, Sounds, Spotify, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, YouTube

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