The Force Is Online
Most Star Wars Fans Rely on Website Performance to Get Ready for New Star Wars Movie
December 11, 2015

Ann Ruckstuhl
SOASTA

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The greatly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters December 18, and geeks and R2D2 and sci-fi fans around the world will be lining up to see the latest addition to the iconic series.

And they are well prepared for the full Star Wars experience, according to the findings of the latest survey from SOASTA. The survey found that Star Wars fans are counting on website performance to watch movie trailers (45 percent), get updates on the movie (33 percent), and read movie reviews (33 percent).


Using its Consumer Performance Index (CPI), SOASTA also tested the performance of websites where fans would most likely watch previews before seeing the movie itself and found that all popular online movie trailer sites out-perform the official Star Wars website.

Star Wars Fans Take to the Internet

The survey results also revealed a curious geographical division of activities among Star Wars fans based in different parts of the US. While fans across the country are depending on website performance to watch movie trailers (45 percent), Star Wars fans in the West are more likely to be relying on it to read movie reviews (41 percent, compared to 27-33 percent elsewhere).

Star Wars fans in the Northeast and South are more likely to be relying on web performance to learn about The Force Awakens stars (24 percent each, compared to 9-14 percent elsewhere).

Star Wars fans in the Northeast are relying on online retail outlet performance to guide purchases of Star Wars toys (17 percent compared to just 8 percent in the West and 10 percent in the South).

Care About Website Performance, Millennials Do

The SOASTA survey also revealed that among Star Wars fans, Millennials (62 percent) are more likely than their older counterparts to say online performance matters when preparing for the new Star Wars movie.

Millennials are relying on online performance to:

■ Watch movie trailers (61 percent)

■ Get updates on the movie (43 percent)

■ Read reviews of the movie online (40 percent)

■ Watch past Star Wars films (33 percent)

■ Learn about the movie’s stars (30 percent)

■ Buy Star Wars toys (18 percent)


Meanwhile, the Force Does Not "Awaken" on the Official Star Wars Website

Considering how many Star Wars fans said they are counting on online performance to watch the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie trailers, fans should be advised that while Starwars.com may be the most logical go-to website, they would be better off watching a preview at Lucas Film (CPI score: 84.6), Rotten Tomatoes (CPI score: 83.6), or Moviefone (CPI score: 82). In fact, any other popular purveyor of online movie trailers offers a more reliable performance experience than the eponymous StarWars.com.

This research is about Star Wars and its fans, on the face of it. But it is truly about website performance, as fans rely on the Internet to, for example, watch previews and buy toys. Performance is now the critical differentiator for brands across the globe in all industries — and web and mobile app performance matters now more than ever before as a result.

Ann Ruckstuhl is CMO of SOASTA.

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