Television remains the advertising medium
that reaches the most affluent Americans.
According to the 2012 Mendelsohn Affluent Survey released last week, more than
50 million adults from households with incomes of higher than $100,000 reported
seeing or hearing advertising on TV in the past six months. Among those, about
60% said they had considerable-or, at the very least, some-interest in the
advertising they saw or heard.
"We look at reach and receptivity across 37 [different
media] touch points. The change we found is that more people are seeing
advertising through smartphones and tablets," says Steve Kraus, senior VP,
chief insights officer, audience measurement group, Ipsos Media CT, which
conducts the Mendelsohn study. "But otherwise, television has been a consistent
No. 1 on both reach and receptivity."
To do the study, Ipsos talked to 13,794 adults and asked questions about 98
different TV networks and 51 different programming genres. Viewing among the
affluents was down 4% to 16.9 hours in a typical week. The study also found
that high-income viewers were watching fewer cable channels, 15.7, down about
6% from the 2011 survey.
"One could speculate it's the growth of things like Netflix or Amazon Prime"
that caused the drop in viewing, Kraus says. But he downplayed the shrinkage,
noting that there was not much change in viewing of the most popular
The top programming genres among affluent viewers were: local news, seen by 69%
of respondents; movies (68%); action and adventure (67%); comedy (63%); drama
(57%); national/international news (55%); and sports (53%).
The networks with the most affluent viewers were led by the broadcasters, with
ABC on top, followed by NBC, CBS and Fox. Among cable networks, ESPN had the
most affluent viewers, followed by Discovery Channel, History, CNN, A&E and
The networks whose viewers had the highest median net worth were Bloomberg TV,
Fox Business Network, Golf Channel, Tennis Channel and Ovation.
Krauss added that affluent individuals continue to invest money in TV. "Their
televisions continue to get bigger, they get better in quality, they continue
to get more connected to the Internet and to hardware like Blu-rays," he says.
"So there's still a very strong enthusiasm for TV among them."