One in four users of social networks say that these sites could become the main way they access music and video content in future, according to a new survey.

Entertainment Media Research’s 2008 survey (pdf) finds that social networks have a significant effect on content discovery, with 30% of users searching through them for new music.

The survey also suggests that social networks are ‘an essential place to be’  for brands, something which has been disputed in this blog.

Just 22% sometimes click on ads on social networks, while 20% said they would be likely to add brands as ‘friends’ on Facebook and other sites.

Other highlights from the survey include:

On-demand content

  • Take up is relatively low at the moment, with 20% using Virgin Media’s on demand service, 15% 4oD, and 13% using the iPlayer (though it had only just launched during the survey).
  • 70% said they would prefer to access on-demand content free of charge with unskippable ads, 15% would pay a subscription to avoid ads, while the other 15% would prefer a pay as you go model.

Mobile internet

  • Only 11% of those surveyed currently use mobiles to access the internet, while just 20% are interested in doing so in future.
  • Barriers to using mobile internet included high cost of data charges (48%), slow loading (33%), while 25% said they were just not interested.

Impact of the web on print media

  • 30% are buying fewer newspapers or are not buying any at all, as a result of accessing this content online, while 22% are buying fewer magazines for the same reason.

Related research:

Internet Statistics Compendium

Related stories:

Social Networks – is the novelty wearing off?

How to promote your brand using social media