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Press release
Press|Technology|TV Audience Measurement|GfK-MRI|United States|English

News, “How-to” networks inspire strongest viewer trust in new GfK MRI research

New York, NY, 28.03.2017

Study also shows trust in TV advertising is highest for Spanish-language networks

What is the value of a “touchpoint” if the source is not trusted? As TV networks head into their annual upfront presentations to advertisers, this question remains a key element – sometimes a missing piece – in any discussion about media planning effectiveness and ROI.

GfK MRI’s new Network Affinity study provides a look at viewer trust in and feelings of connection to over 150 TV networks and the ads they air. The research reveals that trust in networks does not always translate into trust in advertising on those channels – but, in other cases, ad trust may actually eclipse network affinity.

Looking at 6 network categories (each consisting of multiple networks in that genre), GfK MRI’s study shows that roughly half of viewers of News (49%) and ‘How-to’ (48%) networks say they strongly trust those networks. (See Table 1.) In addition, 46% of News network viewers also say that those networks “reflect their personal values.”

Table 1: Proportion of viewers to each network category
who “Strongly Agree”

 

Trust network

Keeps me fully engaged

Reflects personal values

Sense of community

Trust ads    

News

49%

43%

46%

38%

31%

How-To

48%

45%

38%

36%

30%

Spanish-language

45%

46%

44%

54%

48%

Kids & Family

40%

31%

30%

30%

31%

Sports

39%

36%

26%

22%

23%

Broadcast

27%

23%

20%

19%

18%

When it comes to trust in advertising, viewers of Spanish-language networks express the strongest feelings, with nearly half (48%) saying they trust the ads on those networks. Kids & Family (31%), News (31%), and ‘How-to’ (30%) networks posted roughly the same scores for advertising trust, with Sports following at 23% and Broadcast networks at 18%.

Spanish-language networks also earned top scores from their viewers in both community (54%) and engagement (46%) with ‘How-to’ and News networks following closely behind.

“Ad buyers are frustrated that they can’t get a true read on which networks earn the strongest viewer trust, and the extent to which this trust impacts their ad messages,” said Lisa Tyler, VP of Media & Entertainment Sales of GfK MRI. “Similarly, networks are concerned that buyers are not considering the relationship they have built with their viewers, and buyers are making investment decisions based purely on behavioral data. This study reveals the relationships viewers have with each network, and how levels of trust, community and relevancy change when you look past age and gender, and into product users, buying styles, and lifestyles.”

The new research includes detailed profiles of viewers who trust each of the networks and categories. Across most of the categories, viewers who watch TV on digital devices and streaming services have higher levels of trust in advertising. Those who own Internet-connected devices over-index for trusting ads in five of the six network categories – especially Sports and Broadcast.

In addition, the study points to important opportunities for targeting high-trust viewers who are spenders and/or influencers in key areas. Viewers with high levels of trust in Kids & Family networks and the ads on them also have higher average levels of spending on computers. And those who trust Spanish-language networks and the ads they show also have higher spending levels for computers than Broadcast network viewers. 

The findings come from GfK MRI’s annual Network Affinity research and are based on an online study of roughly 10,000 nationally representative respondents. Data has been fully fused to GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer® for full profiling. Network Affinity gives advertisers and their agencies the ability to choose media partners that align and deliver on the sentiments important to their target audiences, on both demographic and psychographic levels.

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit www.gfk.com/us or follow GfK on Twitter​.

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