By Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director
When you have a conversation with someone, have you ever wondered where they get their information?
The findings of a new research study, called “The American Conversation” indicate local broadcast news influences the conversations of more Americans than any other medium. The study was commissioned by the TVB, a not-for-profit trade association for the commercial television industry. It was conducted by the Keller Fay Group, a research firm specializing in word-of-mouth marketing. More than two thousand adults 18+ answered questions about thousands of online and offline conversations they had in April.
With the proliferation of online media and the bombardment of tweets, likes and pins, you might be surprised to learn TV news was the “spark” or source of information for 55% of all “news of the day” conversations between folks. That’s 3 times more (18%) than those who cited online media as the source of their information.
“News of the day” issues were at the top of the list among those which generated conversations, followed by lifestyle and entertainment topics. But the most notable finding was the fact that local broadcast television news was the source of the information that fed most of those conversations. 82% of people talked daily about the weather, 75% about national or world news and 63% about local news topics.
Also worthy of note is the fact that, when it comes to talking about products and services, the advertising seen on local broadcast news is 30% more likely to serve as the starting point or an influencing factor than ads seen on cable news.
“One of the most fascinating findings in the study was that young people still rely on local broadcast news to fuel their daily conversations,” explained Stacey Lynn Schulman, Chief Research Officer at the TVB, in a release on the study. “Despite the belief that young people have disengaged with watching news, young adults claim that local broadcast news content drives a higher percentage of their daily conversations than most other television genres.”
Schulman theorizes one of the reasons for that is that TV news is more accessible than ever on a wide range of platforms, including the web, mobile and tablets. So it’s far easier, she says, for Americans—young and old—to stay connected and informed throughout the day.
Another interesting finding concluded that 77% of daily conversations take place face-to-face, compared with only 8% occurring online.
The TVB study is another indicator that traditional broadcast news remains a vital and engaging medium for Americans and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
What are your thoughts on the TVB study? Let us know in the comments below.
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