TV Viewership Down… Believability Up: What it Means to the Future of Local TV News
The bad news is that people are going to other sources for TV news. The good news is that your local TV stations’ news believability is up. Why is that important? It could be the competitive advantage that leverages and drives local TV news organizations into the digital future. Let’s talk about why.
First take a look at the Pew Research Center News Consumption Survey for 2012. Ten years ago 68 percent of the population said they got news from TV yesterday, compared to 55 percent today. That’s a 19 percent decrease.
Clearly this research documents the multi-platform nature of the news audience. Fifty percent of these folks are wired into mobile or Internet services (including Facebook and Twitter) for news updates. That means the available news sources go up but the individual media share of the audience has to go down…but how far down will it go? That may be a matter of trust and believability.
Who Do You Trust?
People were asked, “How much do you believe in each of the following sources of news?” And the winner is… Local TV News! Other news sources such Fox, MSNBC, and even NPR are at the bottom of the list. Are you surprised?
Here’s what may be happening: local TV news stations provide local information, provided by local newscasters, who cover local issues, that impact people in the local community. Their Believability Index is high partly because local viewers can check the local facts and they are hearing the news from trusted people who live in their own communities. That is tough to do on a national basis. Not so hard locally.
Now if that localism can be spread across multiple channels, meaning mobile and tablet, then we have a competitive advantage moving into the next decade. We understand that the multitasking multimedia mobile consumer is not going to go away. Not now…not ever. With that in mind, I offer up a simple equation for your future success:
Exposure + Believability = Ratings
Exposure means any and all media devices sending out your updated news stories 24/7. Believable means LOCAL talent as the stars, who create the inherent bonded credibility with your viewers. They are the ace pitchers in the bullpen who come out to win the ratings game. Be sure to keep tabs on your own Believability Index, because if this index goes down, then your competitive advantage may go away. I think believability is the digital currency of the future. What do you think?
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