At CivicScience, we have been studying media habits of US consumers for many years. With the proliferation of social media and national news sources, the local newspaper, TV and radio stations seem to be constantly under pressure to grow audiences and ad revenue.
In just the past few months (since 1/25/16), we have heard from nearly 20,000 people on where they go for breaking news. Because of major events like terrorism, recent political activity and other “national” breaking news, I’m not really surprised that 42% use national news sources.
When you think of the vast amount of national news sources (and social media), it IS impressive that nearly 40% of the people rely on LOCAL news sources. But how can local media profit from this?
Many in the local media community (our partners), have been seeing a continued decline in national advertising sales. So, we thought it might be interesting to see if there was a correlation between where people go for breaking news and their commitment to locally-owned businesses (aka SMBs).
The correlation is both strong and encouraging! First, those that don’t care about breaking news seem less caring about supporting locally-owned establishments. So, let’s throw them out.
Here’s where it gets interesting for local media. Of the 92% of people who DO think breaking news is important – they overwhelming ALL believe shopping at local establishments are important – with an amazing 85% of local news source visitors saying shopping locally is important.
So if I owned/managed local news outlets, I would make a major push on getting this message to locally-owned businesses. If national sales are sliding, there is no alternative but to develop local advertising. And if we know that consumers come to LOCAL MEDIA when news is breaking, why wouldn’t these locally-owned business want to do more business in and around this media? They would!
If you want to dig in deeper into this (or other media-centric consumer behaviors) just ask.
In the meantime – go talk with LOCAL businesses!