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eMarketer Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 11:30 AM EST

Traditional Media Still Most Trusted Sources of Info

TV most trusted source of information, but internet key to researching products and services

eMarketer has noted that while digital has caused some traditional media to suffer in terms of consumer time and attention—notably, print and radio—TV still takes up the bulk of US adults’ time with media. And June research from Triton Digital, a digital service provider for online and traditional radio, shows the medium also garners the most trust from consumers.

More than 45% of respondents in North America, including nearly 50% of female respondents, said they trusted television the most for news and information, followed by newspapers and then radio. Only one in eight respondents selected online news sources as most trusted.

Media Source that Internet Users in North America Trust Most for News and Information, by Gender, June 2012 (% of total)

And while most of those surveyed said they had purchased a product as a result of a commercial on traditional media like TV, radio or a newspaper (63.6%), recommendations on these media did not influence the majority of respondents to favor a particular product or service.

Instead, even though it falls outside the “most-trusted” territory, respondents were more likely to turn to the internet for product research and recommendations once they had decided to make a purchase but needed to choose a brand or specific item to buy. While a television commercial influenced over 28% of respondents, more than 61% said the same for research online.

Sources that Influence the Brand-Buying Decisions of Internet Users in North America, by Gender, June 2012 (% of respondents)

Clearly, internet users have become very used to—and adept at—using the web to find deals and offers; get recommendations from friends, family and experts; and research sometimes-complicated product decisions. Marketers have many online channels for educating consumers about products and services, and this is the key to getting many individuals to move from “consideration” to “purchase.” But with time and attention—and trust—still focused on traditional media, TV, radio and print are not to be neglected.