Consumers Are Emotionally Attached to Media Web Sites and Use Them Out of Habit, According to New Online Publishers Association Report
Measures of Enjoyment, Trust and Reliance Strong for Both Online and Offline Versions of a Media Brand
NEW YORK, NY -- February 12, 2004 -- The Online Publishers Association (OPA) announced today the results of its Multi-Channel Media Brand study, which examined behavioral and attitudinal characteristics of consumers who utilize both the online and offline versions of a media brand.
The study, conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, surveyed frequent visitors to media Web sites and found that consumers show strong emotional bonds to these sites, just as they do to the related offline properties. Specifically, 72% enjoy the Web site, 71% trust the Web site, 69% look forward to visiting the Web site, 56% rely on the Web site, and 47% miss the Web site when they can't access it. These numbers compare favorably to consumers' attitudes toward the related offline property on nearly every measure. (Percentages as they relate to the offline brands were 76%, 69%, 62%, 49% and 45%, respectively.)
Further, the study also found that use of media Web sites is becoming habitual. As one might expect, consumers frequently visitnational news sites to get national news (68%), get breaking news (64%), and get international news (52%). However, a striking 44% of consumers say they frequently visit national news sites out of habit, and 23% just for fun or to relax. Similarly, 38% of consumers use local news sites out of habit.
The study also identified and profiled four segments among those who use both the online and offline versions of a media brand: Onliners, Multi-channelers, Dabblers and Offliners.
According to the study, Onliners, who are defined as frequent users of the online brand and infrequent users of the corresponding offline brand, represented 29% of survey respondents. Onliners are significantly more male (70%) than female (30%), and contain the highest concentration of users between the ages of 18-34 (40%). Most notably, average TV viewing among this group is the lowest of any of the four segments. Onliners spend 21 hours per week online compared to only 14 hours per week watching television.
Multi-channelers, who represented 51% of those surveyed, are defined as frequent users of both the online and offline versions of a media brand. This group is more evenly split between males (51%) and females (49%). Web sites affiliated with TV channels have the highest concentration of Multi-channelers among their online visitors (62%).
"This research has significant implications for advertisers," said Michael Zimbalist, executive director of the Online Publishers Association. "By developing effective cross-media messaging, advertisers can take advantage of the considerable overlap in online and offline media brand usage. At the same time, advertisers can use the online medium to extend the reach of their campaigns among important segments of the population whom we know to be spending increasingly less time with other media."
The research was conducted through an online survey of 25,852 users aged 18-54 using pop-up intercepts on 41 individual OPA member sites. The full report, including additional attitudinal and usage data as well as all four segment profiles, can be found at the Online Publishers Association Web site at www.online-publishers.org.
About the Online Publishers Association
Founded in June 2001, the Online Publishers Association (OPA) is an industry trade organization whose mission is to advance the interests of high-quality online publishers before the advertising community, the press, the government and the public. Members of OPA represent the standards in Internet publishing with respect to editorial quality and integrity, credibility and accountability. OPA member sites have a combined, unduplicated reach of 109.2 million visitors, or 73 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience (Source: comScore Media Metrix, September 2003 combined home/work/university data). For more information about the Online Publishers Association, visit www.online-publishers.org.
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