LOS ANGELES Online content tied to television viewing is rising in value as a means to reach potential buyers of new vehicles, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study released today.
Fully 68 percent of verified new-vehicle buyers went online to find information on television shows, the Power Auto Online Media Study found, an increase of 22 percent since the 2007 study. That places TV show content as third-most relevant to new-car buyers, behind only travel-related information and news.
The third semi-annual report of the Westlake Village, Calif.-based research firm was conducted between February and April, using a national random sampling of more than 12,000 people who bought new vehicles last fall.
"As the automotive market struggles in the current economy, it becomes even more important for manufacturers and advertisers to effectively target the diminishing number of consumers who are seeking to purchase a new vehicle," said Arianne Walker, director of marketing and media research at J.D. Power, in a statement, adding the prediction that new car sales will drop from 16.1 million units to 15 million this year.
"As new-vehicle sales shrink, understanding which advertising [media] will provide the best balance of audience reach and composition is absolutely critical," said Walker. "As more new-vehicle buyers seek information regarding television shows on the Web, advertisers can benefit from increasing their focus on this medium."
Walker said the network offerings attracting new-car buyers were online archive programs, exposing viewers to advertisements before and after the program. The top sites were CNN, MSNBC, ESPN and Fox News. ABC led the network sites, followed by CBS and NBC, which were tied. Premium-brand vehicle buyers were most likely to access television show content, about 8 percent above the average, somewhat offsetting the fact that nearly half in that class own DVRs and 97 percent report skipping through commercials.
The study found that the most dramatic increase of television content accessing -- 41 percent more compared to 2007 -- was among midsize premium car buyers.