Harris Poll Study Shows Political Effect On News Media’s Brand Equity

News media brands experienced a stark change in brand equity post-election, according to new research from The Harris Poll. Conservative support for TV News and News Services – including Fox News – declined across the board in the wake of “fake news.” Liberal-leaning consumers boosted support for The New York Times and CNN, while their support of Fox News declined sharply.

“Liberal support of mainstream news has intensified, especially for The New York Times, which gained significant equity, despite attempts by the White House to delegitimize it,” said Joan Sinopoli, vice president of brand solutions at The Harris Poll. “Conservatives have become more cautious of the media overall, including Fox News, which at the time of the survey, had already lost some of its star news personalities. The sharpness of the brand equity gains and declines we see among media brands is significant since brand equity tends to resist movement.”

The Harris Poll’s 29th annual EquiTrend Study, which measures brand health over time, reveals the strongest brands across the media, travel, financial, automotive, entertainment, retail, restaurant, technology, household and nonprofit industries, based on consumer response.

According to Harris Poll’s research, among liberal-leaning consumers, The New York Times’ brand equity increased 10 points from 2015 to 2017, while support for Fox News dropped 6 points. CNN experienced a 7-point increase and The Washington Post and MSNBC each increased about 2 points during the same time period.

Among conservative-leaning consumers, The Washington Post’s brand equity dropped 12 points from 2015, while The New York Times declined 6 points. Fox News fell 5 points among conservatives over the same period; CNN dropped 3 points.

While there is a significant gap in equity ratings between those expressing liberal (75) versus conservative (51) values, News Service Brand of the Year NPR shows somewhat increasing support from conservatives (+2 points 2014 – 2017).

“Despite prevailing political winds, NPR has not seen any notable wavering of support from liberals or conservatives,” said Sinopoli.

The EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors – Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration – that result in a brand equity rating for each brand. Brands ranking highest in equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend “Brand of the Year” award for their respective categories. This year, more than 100,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 4,000 brands across more than 450 categories. The full Harris Poll EquiTrend Brands of the Year list can be found at http://www.theharrispoll.com/equitrend-rankings/2017.

TV Networks Lead Media Brand Equity, PBS Reclaims Network Brand of the Year

According to Harris Poll’s research, TV networks (equity rating of 67) maintain the equity leadership position among media categories, followed by Factual Entertainment TV (65) and Internet Radio (65).

TV networks are the brand equity powerhouse of the media industry, primarily because these are such familiar brands,” said Sinopoli. “TV Network Brand of the Year PBS, for example, forges a strong emotional connection with its viewers. Additionally, consumers tend to view factual entertainment TV, such as The History Channel and The Discovery Channel as having a stronger positive social impact than other players in the media space.”

Netflix Owns Brand of the Year, Despite Stabilizing Equity

Netflix, with the media category equity high of 78, is the Video Streaming Subscription Brand of the Year for the fourth consecutive year. Once a fast-riser, (18 percent equity increase since 2013), Netflix’s equity remains stable year-over-year, with no brand threatening its lead. Amazon Prime (equity score of 70), is a new fast riser, with a 16 percent growth rate since 2013.

“Netflix is actually becoming a ‘mainstream’ brand as streaming penetrates more and more households — and fingertips,” said Sinopoli. “Amazon Prime intends to be a worthy challenger as more original content, including Amazon hit movies, begin to penetrate its playlist.”

While there is a significant gap in equity ratings between those expressing liberal (75) versus conservative (51) values, News Service Brand of the Year NPR shows somewhat increasing support from conservatives (+2 points 2014 – 2017).

“Despite prevailing political winds, NPR has not seen any notable wavering of support from liberals or conservatives,” said Sinopoli.

The EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors – Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration – that result in a brand equity rating for each brand. Brands ranking highest in equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend “Brand of the Year” award for their respective categories. This year, more than 100,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 4,000 brands across more than 450 categories. The full Harris Poll EquiTrend Brands of the Year list can be found at http://www.theharrispoll.com/equitrend-rankings/2017.

TV Networks Lead Media Brand Equity, PBS Reclaims Network Brand of the Year

According to Harris Poll’s research, TV networks (equity rating of 67) maintain the equity leadership position among media categories, followed by Factual Entertainment TV (65) and Internet Radio (65).

TV networks are the brand equity powerhouse of the media industry, primarily because these are such familiar brands,” said Sinopoli. “TV Network Brand of the Year PBS, for example, forges a strong emotional connection with its viewers. Additionally, consumers tend to view factual entertainment TV, such as The History Channel and The Discovery Channel as having a stronger positive social impact than other players in the media space.”

Netflix Owns Brand of the Year, Despite Stabilizing Equity

Netflix, with the media category equity high of 78, is the Video Streaming Subscription Brand of the Year for the fourth consecutive year. Once a fast-riser, (18 percent equity increase since 2013), Netflix’s equity remains stable year-over-year, with no brand threatening its lead. Amazon Prime (equity score of 70), is a new fast riser, with a 16 percent growth rate since 2013.

“Netflix is actually becoming a ‘mainstream’ brand as streaming penetrates more and more households — and fingertips,” said Sinopoli. “Amazon Prime intends to be a worthy challenger as more original content, including Amazon hit movies, begin to penetrate its playlist.”

SOURCE: Harris Poll

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