How the credit crunch affects media consumption


Here’s an interesting piece of research about how our media consumption habits are changing in the current economic climate (sadly not covered in any more detail on the the7stars website here).

The headlines are:

  • 74% of consumers see TV ads as “inappropriate” – although from what I can see there’s no trend data here, so it’s an assumption to say this proportion is increasing as the economy declines
  • a quarter of consumers are deliberately avoiding bad news – with 40% preferring free newspapers to paid-for papers – although I’m not sure whether the inferred connection is justifiable – it could easily be argued that a shift to free media is a function of price sensitivity rather than avoidance of negative content
  • 66% of consumers are more likely to believe an ad on ITV than on Google – I wonder if this is because TV ads are seen as expensive, so only “proper” companies can advertise with them, while anyone can advertise on Google – so online advertisers are trusted less…

There’s a logical case at the moment for media substitution from paid-for media (papers, subscription TV) towards free media – which would include online media consumption – although the results published online so far don’t give much away in this respect.

I can definitely see a case for marketing and public relations folk to think carefully about their audiences, how they are affected by the economic climate and the impact that has on the communications mix employed.

It’d be interesting to see more results of the research from media agency the7stars (let’s see if they have a social media tracking programme!).