Expansion Into Digital Creates New Auto Ad Opportunities

New-vehicle drivers in the United States spend an average of 11 hours a day watching TV, streaming video content, listening to radio programming or on the Internet—often engaged in more than one of these activities simultaneously.

That’s according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report—Summer, released earlier this week.

The problem for marketers is that many consumers are getting their TV fix using digital media, which makes it harder to reach them.

“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.” 

Digital streaming media continues to gain popularity, as many consumers are willing to pay to get the content they want, when they want it. Seven in 10 (70%) new-vehicle drivers indicate having used streaming video/programming services such as Amazon, Hulu or Netflix in the past 30 days, and 64% have used a streaming music service such as Pandora or Spotify in the past 30 days.

While paid media streaming offers limited digital advertising opportunities, traditional media players are increasingly opening new avenues for digital placements, according to the report.

Traditional media channels such as TV networks, magazines and newspapers are still largely being consumed in their “native” form, but have also been successful in attracting a digital audience. 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 making similar inroads with their digital footprint. In addition to the 86% of readers of the 92 magazines included in the report who read the publication via a traditional printed copy, 41% read the magazine digitally, either through a digital edition, website or app.

Consumers are spending a great deal of time reading, watching and listening on a daily basis. While Gen Y and Gen X spend the most time engaged with various media (13 hours and 12 hours, respectively), Boomers and Pre-Boomers are not far behind at 11 hours and 10 hours, respectively.The bigger difference is how they are using it. The 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. 

Publications with content focused 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 and are among the measured publications whose total digital readership surpasses their print edition readership.

Compared with magazines and television networks, newspapers attract the highest rates of users to digital content. For newspapers, 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,” Sargent says. “Changing habits in media consumption creates challenges for advertisers, but it also creates new opportunities.”

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