About the Study

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The world today is experiencing monumental events shifting culture, giving rise to movements, marches and political unrest, all around the globe. In the USA, the reign of President Donald Trump, and demonstrations like “March for our Lives,” are showing how polarized the political conversation has become in America. Venezuela faces political and economic crisis. In the UK, Britain’s exit from the European Union is dividing the nation. French “Gillet Jaune” protesters continue to oppose President Macron’s government. Conflicts in Syria and Yemen have created a humanitarian crisis that the world is still trying to manage. Now more than ever, we must dig deeper to understand contributing factors to the cultural changes happening around the world.

UM is a creative media agency, committed to blurring the lines between media and creativity, data and content, science and art. We strive for better – because simply being “different” is not enough. Our difference comes to life in our mantra and process:

Better Science. Better Art. Better Outcomes.

The Wave study shows how UM lives that commitment. Surveying more than 56,000 active internet users, Wave X – Remix Culture offers a unique lens on culture and identity and their roles in influencing behavior – driven by sub-cultures and diverse segments.

We are in our 10th year of our Wave study, tracking social and digital media usage and motivations. The Wave X study was conducted in 81 countries and 44 languages around the world.

During this Wave study, we recognized two big trends that support a need for a strategic framework focused on culture

There has been an 8% decline globally in trust, from Wave 8 (2014) to Wave X (2019). Some key contributors to this decline:

Social media
  • Most people, believe that most of what they read in social media, is not true. Across all markets, 57% of those surveyed believe that more than 50% of the information they get from social media is not true.
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) has declined by 3%
    • The influence specifically of the social network has peaked. The percentage globally who agree “I worry about missing out on something if I don’t visit my social network” declined from 50% to 47% from 2014-2018.
Online Influencers
  • 63% said that more than 50% of the information they get from bloggers and vloggers is not true.
  • Only 31% believe that at least 50% of the information they get from celebrities is true.
  • There has been a 5% global increase in “Wanting to Belong
    • In 2010, 20% of people agreed that online digital media of some type fulfilled their need for belonging. In 2019, this had risen to 25%. While this might seem like a small change over the last 10 years, it takes a while to see movement in something as intrinsic as belonging.


Remix Culture Strategic Framework >