The dividing line between media consumption and production is eroding as culture becomes more and more configurable. The digitization of media allows users to create, re-configure, re-mix and share music, video, images and even video games. Video consumption is no longer a passive act, as audiences increasingly play the role of producer as well.
DIGITAL MEDIA Consumers Becoming Producers: Social Influencers Are Increasingly Participating in Online Video Distribution Lead Analyst Marissa Gluck Contributing Analyst Michael Gartenberg An Interpret Syndicated Research Service subscription is $10,000 per year and includes twelve research reports and unlimited analyst inquiry. For subscription inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 255-0590. Reproduction by any method or unauthorized circulation is strictly prohibited. Interpret’s syndicated research reports are intended for the sole use of clients. All opinions and projections are based on Interpret’s judgment at the time of publication and are subject to change. Published September 2009. © 2009 Interpret, LLC Consumers Becoming Producers: Social Influencers Are Increasingly Participating in Online Video Distribution The dividing line between media consumption and production is eroding as culture becomes more and more configurable. The digitization of media allows users to create, re-configure, re-mix and share music, video, images and even video games. Video consumption is no longer a passive act, as audiences increasingly play the role of producer as well. Core Questions: • How is the distinction between consumer and producer evolving? • Are “influencers” both active online video consumers and producers? Interpret Insight: Audiences are becoming more and more active and engaged not only with consuming video, but also with sharing and producing video. Consumers who claim that their friends and acquaintances often ask for their opinions on new products and services are also more likely to be actively engaged with online video. For instance, this group is almost one-and-a-half times more likely to post a short video clip from a TV or movie than the general population. Given this correlation between social influencers and online video, marketers should become more engaged with those who both consume and produce videos. Distinction between consumption and production is quickly eroding. By now it is a cliché to say that the advent of digital technologies precipitated a seismic cultural shift in how audiences interact with media. Before media became digital (music, movies, TV, text, photos) the dividing line between those who consume and those who produce media was fairly entrenched and straightforward. Large media conglomerates with huge budgets produced, marketed, and distributed films and TV shows, while consumers passively sat back and enjoyed the fruits of the studio’s labor. The main reasons behind this division were that media was expensive to produce, distribution was tightly controlled, and marketing costs were prohibitive. Today, however, the cost of technology and the knowledge base necessary to create content is within the reach of most ordinary consumers. The popularity of user-generated content has further blurred the distinction between those who produce content and those who consume it. Rather than conceptualizing the consumer-producer dynamic as dichotomous and oppositional (black and white), today it is more helpful (and accurate) to consider the dynamic as a spectrum. Audiences can move backward and forward along the spectrum depending upon their engagement and comfort levels, as well as take advantage of the value offered by social networking, online video, and informational web sites. There is also a murky middle ground evolving between the two ends of the spectrum, occupied by “prosumer” behavior. While consumer behavior is characterized mainly by passive viewership, and producer behavior requires a degree of expertise to create new content or remix/mash-up available clips, there is a significant juste milieu comprised of various forms of active engagement and sharing. For online video, this includes tagging content, posting and sharing other people’s video clips, commenting on video other people posted online, and engaging with online ads. Active online video users cast a strong sphere of influence. To better understand the video sharing behaviors of influencers, it is helpful to look specifically at consumers who identify themselves as people others often ask for their opinion on new products. In addition to these “influencers,” it is useful to evaluate consumers who mostly hear about n
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