SOURCE: The Diffusion Group

The Diffusion Group

October 20, 2010 16:27 ET

Recommendations From Social Network 'Friends' Have Pronounced Impact on Media Consumption

New Research From TDG Validates the "Bandwagon Effect" of Recommendations Among Social Networks

FRISCO, TX--(Marketwire - October 20, 2010) - According to a new study from The Diffusion Group (TDG), social network recommendations are potent motivators when it comes to media consumption. Close to 90% of social network users (56% of all Internet users) have consumed music, books, TV programs, or movies in the last six months because of the recommendation of a social network "friend."

According to Michael Greeson, TDG Founding Partner and co-author of the new report, more than two-thirds of adult Internet users turn to social networks at least once a week. "These electronic environments have become 'virtual water coolers,' places where consumers share not only personal stories but opinions regarding certain products and services."

One's personal social network is comprised of "friends" approved to access and receive correspondence. Not surprisingly, these friends have become legitimate purchase influencers, especially when it comes to media.

Greeson notes that these peer-to-peer recommendations have a strong viral component in that a single opinion is often shared with hundreds of other friends in one's social network. Once that chain is initiated, it often takes on a life of its own, further multiplying the number of recipients and thus the number of consumers influenced by the opinion.

To understand the types of consumers influenced by these recommendations, TDG's new report analyzes the social network population in terms of several segments:

  • Engagers (those that have consumed media because of a friend's recommendations) and Non-Engagers (those that have not); and
  • Buyers (those Engagers that have purchased media because of a friend's recommendations) and Non-Buyers (those Engagers that have not).

According to the report, Engagers are:

  • More likely to be young (Gen X or Y), female, and single;
  • Twice as likely as Non-Engager to have spent more than $30 on PayTV VoD in the past six months;
  • Significantly more likely to use online movie DVD rental/purchase services like Netflix; and
  • Significantly more likely to rent digital movies or TV shows online; and
  • More likely than Non-Engagers to be positively influenced by automated recommendation engines featured in web-based retail sites such as Amazon.com.

Social Network Recommendations and Media Consumption - A Consumer Snapshot offers a detailed profile of each of these consumer segments, including demographics, use of video-on-demand and online video services, and a variety of other characteristics. The report is now available for purchase at www.tdgresearch.com.

About The Diffusion Group (TDG):
TDG provides actionable intelligence on the quantum shifts impacting consumer technology and media behaviors. Since 2004, our market research and advisory services have helped technology vendors, media companies, and service providers understand how consumers access, navigate, distribute, and consume broadband media -- whenever and wherever they may be. For more information, visit our website at www.tdgresearch.com.

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