Local broadcast TV remains the dominant source of news and information for adults in the U.S. amid growing concern about the spread of “fake news” online. That’s the takeaway from a recent survey conducted by research firm SmithGeiger in connection with the National Assn. of Broadcasters annual confab this week in Las Vegas.
The survey of 1,007 people in the 18-54 age range found that 72% of adults 18-54 get some news and information from local TV stations via TV, websites and news apps. The majority of all age groups receive news and information each week from a broadcaster (59% of ages 18-24; 67% of ages 25-34; 75% of ages 35-44; and 81% of ages 45-54).
A majority of survey respondents also rated local news programs as their most “trusted” source of news: 56% of ages 18-24, 53% of ages 25-34; 54% of ages 35-44; and 51% of ages 45-54.
“This is a significant development in the era of ‘fake news,’ especially when more than half of even the youngest adult viewers feel that way,” said Seth Geiger, president and co-founder of SmithGeiger. “We see media consumers are watching a whole lot of TV across a variety of devices. Although streaming, time shifting and non-linear is growing, 80% are still watching live TV.”
The survey found that for TV viewing overall, respondents spent three hours and 13 minutes a day watching linear TV, and an additional three hours and 15 minutes on streaming platforms, some of which overlap. The survey found that SVOD viewing is up 41% over last year. But live TV viewing is also on the rise, up 26% from last year.
SmithGeiger unveiled its research about the broadcast TV marketplace on Sunday during the NAB’s inaugural half-day summit Senior Leadership Summit, focusing on the many changes in the business landscape for local TV as well as the industry’s response to the #MeToo movement, and other concerns.