U.S. consumers spend more time with TV than all other ad-supported media

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020
TVB logo

GfK Research Study Reveals Time Spent with Traditional TV Greater than Time Spent with All Other Media Platforms

  • Local Broadcast TV Still the Most Trusted News Source

NEW YORK — GfK, a trusted leader in market research, in collaboration with TVB, the not-for-profit trade association for local broadcast television, today announced preliminary results from the 2020 Media Comparisons Study. Key findings indicate American consumers spend more time with television than all other ad-supported media platforms. The study also revealed that consumers overwhelmingly trust local broadcast TV news over any other source.

The 2020 Media Comparisons Study, conducted by GfK, is a key industry resource for multi-media usage and effectiveness. The study looks at how individuals consume ad-supported media – both traditional and digital. It explores reach, time spent, and the role each medium plays in motivating consumers to learn more about a product or service – and what ultimately affects their purchase decisions. Results additionally reveal where people get their daily news from and which sources they feel are most trustworthy.

The results confirm television’s advantages as an advertising medium across various demographics and product categories. Local broadcast TV, both on-air and digital, when compared to other media, maintained its position as the top medium for consumers. Other findings include:

  • Adults 18+ spent 5 hours and 17 minutes with television daily. The next closest medium was social media at 1 hour and 6 minutes, followed by radio (1:01) and email (1:00).
  • TV delivers the highest reach – 80% of adults 18+ daily, with broadcast alone delivering a 78% reach. Social media, radio, search and cable each had reach in the mid-50th percentile.
  • If respondents could choose only five TV networks, the big four broadcast networks would be their top choices. A cable network took fifth place, but had less than half the support.
  • Local broadcast TV is the most trusted news source, with 75% of adults 18+ agreeing. This is compared to local TV news websites/apps (64%), radio (68%), cable TV (56%) and social media (25%).
  • Television is the top advertising medium influencing purchase decisions: 63% higher than the number of respondents citing social media, about 3 times higher than direct mail and search, and 7 times more influential than radio.
  • 54% of adults 18+ cited television ads as motivating them to do further research online, with an increase in key categories. For example, the number jumps to 70% for car buyers.

“Competition for consumers’ attention grows by the day, and yet television continues to stand tall as the medium with which people choose to spend most of their available time, as this year’s Media Comparisons study indicates yet again,” said Steve Lanzano, President and CEO of TVB. “That continued dominance translates to dependable clout for advertisers across the marketing landscape. And at a time when accusations of ‘fake news’ fly from all corners of the media and social ecosystem, local TV in particular remains far and away the most trusted medium and source of information. That has a lot to do with TV’s greater influence in consumer purchase decisions. Which marketer wouldn’t want that power behind them?”