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BBC study says 73% Indians more likely to consider a brand if advertised on a trusted news channel or website

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BBC study says 73% Indians more likely to consider a brand if advertised on a trusted news channel or website

BBC World News and published a study of APAC news consumers on the value of trusted news sources in the fake news era on Tuesday. With the advent of new technology and digital news having eyeballs like never before, the digital news media is affecting mass perception like no other.

The respondents that made the sample size were 18–54 years old, digital-savvy, international news consumers (at least once-a-week) and Pay TV/cable TV subscribers, decision maker/joint decision maker for channel package subscription. The unique sample size in the India market was 326 (online survey sample: 320; vox pop sample: 32)

The new BBC study, titled ‘The Value of News – and the Importance of Trust’, revealed that 85% of Indian news consumers say that international news is more important now than ever before – the highest across the countries surveyed. However, 83% are concerned about fake news and 72% find it hard to distinguish between real and fake news. Moreover, 83% of respondents say they are more inclined to refer to well-known and established news brands because of fake news.

With rumours floating on WhatsApp leading to lynching of innocent people, Indian news and fake news have been under the scanner for a long time. With regional events having a greater impact globally, audiences turn to news sources in order to gain clarity and insight on global stories. 

The BBC study revealed new insights into the value of trust for brand advertising on media outlets. Traditional or legacy news publishers are the most trusted digital platform and the trust level for brands associated with these outlets is more than 40% higher than native news websites. In India, 69% say they would trust an advertiser more and almost three quarters (73%) say their brand consideration would increase if it is advertised on a trusted news channel or website. In addition, they are more inclined to read sponsored content on these sites (78%).  Conversely, more than seven out of ten people (71%) say that advertising with an untrusted media outlet would put them off a brand.

TV is still the most popular platform for Indians who want to stay up-to-date with international news, with 93% saying they use it, followed by social media (80%), newspapers (62%), news apps (54%), websites (45%) and news aggregators (44%). The study shows that news consumers both in India and across the wider APAC region consider BBC World News to be the most trusted international news channel.

According to The Global Web Index, consumers’ use of digital news/social feeds complements, rather than cannibalises, news consumption on pay TV. Across APAC, online news consumers are four times as likely to watch international news channels as those who don’t consume news online and 94% of Indian mobile phone users share international news stories on messaging platforms – again the most of any country surveyed.

Jim Egan, CEO for BBC Global News Ltd, said, “These results reveal the full extent to which India is feeling the effects of the fake news phenomenon. Trust is becoming increasingly important as people seek out information they can rely on and the BBC’s traditional values of accuracy and impartiality have never been more relevant to both audiences and brands who can benefit from being aligned with them.”

Popular platforms for international news in India
TV - 93%
Social media - 80%
Newspapers - 62%
News apps - 54%
Websites - 45%
News aggregators - 44%


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