Which Media Categories Have the Highest Brand Equity With Consumers?

July 11, 2016

HarrisPoll-Top-Media-Categories-by-Brand-Equity-Jul2016TV networks continue to top all media categories in brand equity, says The Harris Poll in releasing new data from its EquiTrend Study. However, video streaming subscriptions are catching up, and actually take the lead among the youngest respondents.

The study is based on an online survey of almost 100,000 US consumers aged 15 and older. Participants each rated 40 randomly selected brands, for a total of 3,837 brands that each received around 1,000 ratings. The Brand Equity Index score is based on a calculation of Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration.

The study determined that TV networks have a Brand Equity Index of 68.4, putting them ahead of factual entertainment TV (65.5) and internet radio (64.9). Cable TV networks were a little further back (61.5), just ahead of video streaming subscriptions (61.1) and social networking sites (61.0). Languishing at the bottom of the heap were shopping TV (51.7), general interest magazines (51.5) and celebrity gossip websites (49.9).

In comparing TV networks with streaming service subscriptions, the study finds that, unsurprisingly, the gap in preference is widest for older consumers (who tend to watch the most traditional TV). Boomers, for example, gave TV networks a Brand Equity Index score of 70.1, far ahead of video streaming subscriptions’ score of 57.5. That gap narrowed among younger consumers, although Millennials still placed TV networks (67.8) ahead of video streaming subscriptions (64.1). Among the youngest consumers – Gen Z – video streaming (61.6) edged TV networks (60.3) in brand equity, leading the analysts to note that “Gen Z stands to be the real disruptor.”

The age-related skew in preferences mirrors that seen in a recent study from TDG Research, in which younger dual-service users preferred streaming video to pay-TV, with the opposite true among their older counterparts.

Meanwhile, some of the category leaders in brand equity identified in the Harris Poll study are highlighted below:

  • Video Streaming Subscription: Netflix;
  • Social Networking Site: YouTube;
  • TV Network: ABC Television Network; CBS Television Network (tie);
  • Internet Radio Service: Pandora;
  • Pay Cable TV Network: HBO.

About the Data: The Harris Poll describes its methodology as follows:

“The 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study is based on a sample of 97,120 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online, in English, between December 22, 2015 and February 1, 2016. The survey took an average of 30 minutes to complete. The total number of brands rated was 3,837. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data was weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over based on age by sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, income, and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

The Brand Equity Index is the keystone to the EquiTrend program, providing an understanding of a brand’s overall strength. A brand’s Equity is determined by a calculation of Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration. Brand of the Year is determined by a simple ranking of brands.”

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