Not only is local TV news content the biggest audience draw for news and information on-air and on digital platforms — it is also the most effective video ad platform, according to new research results announced by Hearst-Argyle Television. The full survey results will be released in March. In a presentation at the annual Association of National Advertisers conference in NYC, Hearst-Argyle President and CEO David Barrett discussed these findings:
Viewers are more engaged with local news than most other genres; 55% of respondents cite TV as their primary source of news information, followed distantly by the Web (26%), and print newspapers (14%); Local TV news is more "DVR-proof" than other program formats; most viewers watch local news live, and even when they record these programs they are less likely to fast-forward through them; The greater loyalty audiences have toward local broadcast TV news is a factor in the effectiveness of advertising within the genre, and, in a key finding, respondents reported that ads on local TV news drive greater product/service awareness than those within any other program type.
Other research findings point to a strong linkage between leading local television news brands and the Web: After search engines, local TV news websites are the most frequently used for local news and weather; Online video viewing of local TV news content is higher than that for any other genre — 37% for local news vs. 31% each for cable news and primetime programming, 24% for reality TV video and 23% for broadcast network news; Among weather sources on the web, local TV websites are the "most important source" for weather information; Among the online population, local-news viewers are relatively affluent technology adapters: 44% have DVRs, 32% have HDTV sets.