People lie when asked if they have seen recent episodes of popular shows, according to research from Hulu LLC released last week. Hulu surveyed 1,000 US viewers aged between 18-49, and 46% admitted to lying about having watched a TV show, according to an article in Business Insider.
Men are more likely to lie than women (or rather, admit they had done so), with 62% admitting to it compared with just 32% of women surveyed. This was also true of Millennials, with 55% admitting they had done so, approximately 10% more than all respondents.
The decision to conduct this survey came out of internal discussions among Hulu team members about this behavior. They believe it is a result of the huge volume of "peak TV" offered currently, with 409 original scripted shows distributed last year. People just don't have the time to watch everything but want to remain part of the group, so they lie to feel like they are "still part of the cultural conversation."
The fact that people lie is not really news, certainly not for anyone that has worked with survey-based research. But it does suggest that the often-quoted "watercooler effect" is not only alive and well, but in fact perhaps even more significant than in the past.
The watercooler effect, or the promotional impact that casual conversations people have (such as around the watercooler at work), has long been an important goal for entertainment executives. By creating conversations or "buzz" around a show, more people get drawn into watching it because they don't want to be left out of these conversations within their communities, and of course that makes the show more successful.
In today's digital world, there has been a sense that the watercooler effect has lost its importance. Shows are also getting more targeted at different demographics and aggregating audiences is increasingly difficult. Yet this research suggests the opposite: The watercooler effect is alive and well, and people still feel pressure to get involved with discussions about popular shows to fit in.
The latest State of the Industry: Mobile Video Report from AOL found that the mobile screen is set to dominate video viewing, and that the large majority of users say they can't live without their smartphones.
In this Telco Transformation radio show, James Crawshaw, Senior Analyst – OSS/BSS Transformation, Heavy Reading, will discuss the challenges and opportunities around re-creating OSS in a virtualized world.
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