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2016 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report—Summer: Traditional Media Brands’ Expansion into Digital Creates New Auto Advertising Opportunities

2016 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report—Summer: Traditional Media Brands’ Expansion into Digital Creates New Auto Advertising Opportunities

By Joseph Dobrian, August 01, 2016

Drivers of new vehicles in the United States spend an average of 11 hours a day watching TV or streaming video content, listening to radio programming, or browsing the Internet, according to the just published J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing ReportSM—Summer. The report finds that in many cases, these consumers engage in more than one of these activities simultaneously. Conceivably, this combination of activities could influence their decision when buying or leasing a vehicle.

The report provides a comprehensive view of the factors that influence consumers’ new-vehicle purchases, as well as attitudinal, lifestyle, recreational, and media consumption behaviors. It finds that virtually all new-vehicle drivers spend a great deal of time each day reading, watching, and listening. Those of Gen Y (born 1977-1994) spend an average of 13 hours per day engaged with those media. Consumers in Gen X (1965-1976) average 12 hours. Boomers (1946-1964) and Pre-Boomers (born prior to 1946) average 11 and 10 hours of engagement, respectively.

Couple using tablet and smartphone photo

Media Use Varies by Age Cohort
A bigger difference lies how different generations use those media. The two younger generations spend a greater share of their media consumption on the Internet and streaming video, while Boomers and Pre-Boomers are more inclined to spend this time watching TV. Surging in popularity is digitally based streaming information. Streaming media are gaining because many consumers are willing to pay to get the type of content they want, at their convenience, often delivered with little or no advertising.

“We are exposed to a massive amount of content each day, yet as many consumers are paying subscription fees that limit ads, it creates a challenge to get auto advertisements and messaging in front of consumers,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “Astute advertisers will continually monitor their consumer base and adapt their advertising to the appropriate channels to reach their target audience.”

One of the report’s key findings is that 70% of new-vehicle drivers indicate they used streaming video/programming services such as Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix in the past 30 days, while 64% used a streaming music service such as Pandora or Spotify. While paid media streaming offers limited digital advertising opportunities, traditional media players are increasingly opening new avenues for placement of products, services, and brands.

Radio, TV, and print media are still consumed in their original forms, but many of them also offer digital versions. For example, among the 60 broadcast and cable networks measured in the report, 97% of viewers watched the networks on television, and 36% also viewed a network’s programming via website, app, or gaming system/streaming box.

Magazine publishers are likewise more reliant on digital versions. Of the 92 magazines included in the report, 86% of their readers read the publication via a traditional printed copy, and 41% read the magazine digitally, either through a digital edition, website, or app, indicating considerable overlap. Publications that focus on sports, news, or business—such as The Atlantic, Bloomberg Markets, ESPN The Magazine, and Harvard Business Review—have the largest proportions of digital audiences. In many cases, their total digital readership surpasses their print edition readership.

Newspapers are even more likely to be accessed digitally, according to the report. Newspaper readers are fairly evenly divided between print and digital, with 60% reading a measured newspaper in its print version and 58% accessing a newspaper via a website, app, or digital edition.

“Traditional advertising isn’t going away, but automakers will have to continue to look at all channels, from digital advertising to product placement, to engage with their customers,” said Sargent. “Changing habits in media consumption creates challenges for advertisers, but it also creates new opportunities.”

About the Report
The 2016 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report—Summer is based on a nationwide survey of 12,480 principal drivers of recently purchased or leased new vehicles. The report is based on owners reflecting vehicle registrations from May 2015 through October 2015.

Additional Research:

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