Study: Gays, Lesbians Savvy Media Consumers

A new study of gay men and lesbians paints a portrait of fairly affluent and media-savvy consumers. The New American Dimensions and Asterix Group is based on an online and intercept survey of 926 people this June, which outlines the media consumption habits and preferences of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community.

According to the NAD/Asterix survey, 68% of LGBT individuals have annual incomes over $35,000. It should be noted, however, that the survey sample skewed slightly older, with just 12% of respondents ages 18-24 and 36% ages 25-39. This, in turn, may have skewed the average income of respondents upwards.

Some 70% of LGBT individuals prefer TV shows with gay themes or characters, accounting for the popularity of programs like "The L Word," listed by 15% of respondents as their favorite. The list of favorite TV channels includes just one overtly gay brand: ABC led the way with 20%, followed by Discovery (18%), NBC (17%), Logo (16%), and Bravo (15%). "The L Word" was matched in popularity by "CSI" (15%) and "Grey's Anatomy" (14%).



In print, favorite magazines included the Advocate (23%) and Out(13%), as well as mainstream publications like People (13%). The New York Times won hands-down as favorite newspaper, chosen by 25% of respondents.

The NAD/Asterix survey also measured responses to various types of advertising that are often used to reach LGBT individuals, including the inevitable "beefcake" (and "cheesecake") approach; ads picturing gay men or lesbians in cozy domestic situations or kissing; hanging out with friends; and celebrity endorsements. While "beefcake" and "kiss" ads resonated more with gay men, "celebrity" and "friends" images resonated more with lesbians. Younger lesbians, however, showed a greater preference for "kiss" ads than did older ones.

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