MEDIA MYTHS AND REALITIES: A PUBLIC OF ONE
2007 MEDIA USAGE SURVEY
BRIC consumers put more stock in media
Consumers in Brazil, India and China generally rated media channels as more credible than did consumers in Russia and the United States:
- National newspapers had their strongest credibility in Brazil and India, receiving an 8 in Brazil and an 8.1 in India, on a scale of 0 to 10. This channel ranked 6.8 and 6.1 in China and Russia, respectively, compared to 6.7 in the U.S.
- Major network news ranked 7.6 in both Brazil and India, and 7.4 in China. Consumers in Russia gave it 6.2 and U.S. consumers gave it 6.7.
- Search engines got the highest mark for credibility, with consumers in India ranking it 8.3. India’s rating was followed by 7.6 in Brazil, 7 in Russia, 6.5 in the U.S. and 6.3 in China.
- Russians ranked search engines more credible than all other media sources at 7, and they put local newspapers as least credible at 4.6.
- U.S. consumers gave their highest marks for credibility to local TV news (6.9) and their lowest to celebrity endorsements (3.7).
They consume more media, too
With a few exceptions, nearly every media channel is used by more consumers in BRIC markets than by consumers in the U.S. Here is a sample:
New media are gaining ground among older crowds
Blogs and social networking sites are no longer just for young consumers. American boomers and beyond are increasing their use of new media.
- Among U.S. 55- to 64-year-olds, 17% of consumers reported using blogs this year, compared to just 7% in 2006; and 11% are using social networking sites, up from 4%.
- U.S. consumers 55 to 64 turn to search engines more than the average consumer, with 72% using search in 2007, compared to 54% in 2006.
- Among U.S. consumers 65 and older, 16% are using blogs and 11% use social networking sites, compared to 8% and 1%, respectively, in 2006.
- 65% of consumers 65 and older use search engines, up from 55%.
At the same time, older consumers are turning away from some media channels that they dominated last year.
- Use of talk radio plummeted among consumers 65 and older, from 42% of this age group listening in last year to just 2% this year. Just 9% of 55- to 64-year-olds tuned in to talk radio this year, down from 37%.
- While those 65 and older logged on to business news Web sites more frequently (14% compared to 9% in 2006), only 6% of 55- to 64-year-olds consulted business news Web sites, compared to 10% a year ago.
Influencers continue to be the heaviest users of media
- U.S. influencers are turning more to content-heavy media sources than they did last year, with 41% using news magazines, up from 23%, and 33% reading consumer magazines, up from 28%. More are watching cable TV news, too, 58% compared to 49% in 2006.
- Influencers are even more likely than the general public to seek advice from family and friends before making purchase decisions. Among consumers who recently purchased electronics, 33% of influencers turned to family and friends, compared to 27% of general consumers. Before buying a product based on environmental impact, 31% of influencers consulted family and friends, compared to 28% of general consumers.
U.S. media usage across all age groups is down from 2006
- Even as U.S. consumers are using more media channels than ever before, their usage of each channel is down.
- With few exceptions (including blogs and social networking sites among ages 55 and over), media usage is down across all U.S. age groups in all channels.
Around the globe, consumers gather their corporate news and information from various sources
- In Brazil, major network television news (50%), major network television news Web sites (22%) and local newspapers (22%) are the top three sources of information for corporate news.
- Russian consumers access major/cable network television news (47%), search engines (24%) and talk radio (21%) as the top three sources for corporate news and information.
- The Indian population relies on major network/cable television news (47%), national newspapers (46%) and local newspapers (76%) as sources for corporate news and information.
- The Chinese tend to look toward traditional and word-of-mouth channels to access corporate news and information. Major network television news (29%), major network television news Web sites (20%) and advice from family and friends (19%) are the top three sources for this information.
- In the U.S., local newspapers (31%), major network (25%) and cable network (25%) television news are the top three sources of information on corporate news.
Brazil Quick Facts
- While local newspapers (77%) are used more frequently than national papers (63%), major network television news (85%) and their corresponding Web sites (71%) are relied on more than their local counterparts (68% for local news and 59% for local news Web sites).
- Search engines (85%), social networking (68%) and video sharing and networking site usage (58%) are high across all audiences—and Brazilians trump their U.S. counterparts nearly 3:1.
- Word-of-mouth avenues such as advice from family and friends (45%) and co-workers (36%) are relied on less heavily than newspapers (63% for national and 77% for local), consumer magazines (51%) and television news (85% for major network, 55% for cable network and 68% for local).
China Quick Facts
- Traditional media such as national (48%) and local (59%) newspapers and major network (60%) and local (55%) news remain some of the top media outlets whereas non-mainland cable network news is accessed by fewer consumers (15%).
- For Chinese consumers, search engines (61%) are the most widely used media source for information and, similar to Brazil, use of other online sources trumps the U.S.
- New media usage is generally high in China, with videocasts (48%) and blogs (41%) as top new media channels.
India Quick Facts
- Indian consumers rely on a mix of media for information. Traditional sources such as newspapers (67% for national and 76% for local) and television (72% for major network or cable and 64% for local) as well as nontraditional sources such as search engines (67%) and word of mouth (51% for advice from family/friends) are top choices.
- Social networking (38%), blogs (30%) and video sharing and networking sites (31%) are used by about a third of the Indian population.
- Half of Indian consumers believe that the category of media (47%) contributes a lot to the credibility of a news story while the specific outlet (38%), type of news story (34%) and specific journalist (31%) do less so. Influencers are more likely to say that the type of news story (40%) contributes a lot to a news story’s credibility.
Russia Quick Facts
- In Russia, traditional media sources such as newspapers (45% for national and 60% for local) and television (79% for major network news, 42% for cable network news and 63% for local news) as well as nontraditional sources such as search engines (82%) and word of mouth (59% for advice from family/friends) are top choices.
- National newspapers (6.1), major network news (6.2), search engines (7.0), business news Web sites (6.2), advice from family/friends (6.1) and expert spokespersons (6.1) are considered the most credible sources of information. Russian consumers find local newspapers (4.6), local broadcast news (5.1) and local newspaper Web sites (4.4) to be less credible than national media and consider celebrity endorsements (5.3) to be more credible than local media, too.
- Social networking (22%), blogs (32%), mobile media (20%) and video sharing/networking sites (17%) are less popular sources of information than traditional media.
U.S. Quick Facts
- Major network television news (65%), local news (61%) and local newspapers (62%) are still the top media outlets for the general population and are deemed to be the most credible media sources, with credibility ratings of 6.7 for major network television news, 6.9 for local television news and 6.7 for local newspapers. Search engine usage and credibility also were high, with 60% usage and a credibility rating of 6.5.
- Newspaper (29% for local and 14% for national) and television news Web sites (29% for major network, 23% for cable network and 26% for local news) are not used as frequently as their original media; however, they are deemed to be very credible sources of information. Cable television news Web sites were rated 6.8, local television news Web sites rated 6.7, major network television news Web sites rated 6.6, and both national and local newspaper Web sites rated 6.5.
- Word-of-mouth avenues such as advice from family and friends (43%) as well as co-workers (20%) are moderately common within the general population. Celebrity endorsements (9%) and expert spokespersons (6%) are not as relied upon within the general public; however, influencers tend to look toward these sources more, with advice from family/friends at 61%, advice from co-workers at 41%, celebrity endorsement at 20% and expert spokespersons at 22%.