A new survey claims to prove that Brits are more trusting than their American counterparts when it comes to buying their media and entertainment online.

The research has been carried out by Edelman, the world's largest independent PR agency, and reveals that UK adults aged 18-34 are more trusting in the entertainment industry than those in the US.

"UK trust in the sector remains stable at 29% compared to last year, whereas the US has seen a sharp decline of 15 points to 17%," claims Edelman's Trust in the Entertainment Industry report.

"With trust in the entertainment industry linked to an increased willingness to buy a company's products, the differences between the two countries is further highlighted by consumers' purchasing habits: 66% of consumers in the UK say they are spending the same or more on digital entertainment compared with last year, versus 56% in the US."

Trust, cost, quality

Trust in the Entertainment Industry 2009 ranks the entertainment industry as the fifth most trusted (50%), after technology, healthcare, food and biotech, among UK opinion formers aged 35-64.

Whereas, in the US, "trust in the entertainment industry is ranked 3rd from the bottom (33%), sharing its position with the automotive industry and just topping insurance and media companies.

"Sixty-six per cent of consumers in the UK say they are spending the same or more on digital entertainment as last year and we found a correlation between trust in the industry and entertainment spending," said Edelman's Gail Becker, global head of Edelman's Digital Entertainment & Technology PR.

"Those who say they have a lot of trust in the entertainment industry are more likely to be spending the same or more on entertainment as they did the prior year. Those who do not trust the entertainment industry say they will be spending less money on entertainment. Trust affects every company's bottom line. People will buy from companies they trust and refuse to buy from companies they distrust."

Unsurprisingly, "cost and quality are consumers' top considerations when paying for entertainment," according to Becker.

Broadcast vs Narrowcast

One notable trend is the continuing demise of broadcast television amongst younger entertainment consumers.

Edelman's Jonathan Hargreaves, head of Edelman's European Technology practice, puts this down to the fact that "the Internet has given consumers enormous choice fuelling the trend from broadcast to narrowcast, particularly for this age group."

You can see a slideshow of Edelmans's Trust in the Entertainment Industry 2009 report right here, online.