When looking for emergency weather information during the recent East Coast and Midwest blizzards, viewers flocked to digital and mobile platforms of their local broadcast TV stations, according to an analysis by the Television Bureau of Advertising released Thursday.
The study showed that essentiality of local TV stations’ websites and mobile sites with record numbers during Winter Storm Jonas.
A trio of East Coast Hearst NBC affiliates were looked at in the TVB study. WGAL, serving the Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, Pa. (DMA No. 44) market, drew five times its usual website traffic, with nearly 10 million page views and 1.7 million sessions. WBAL Baltimore drew twice as many app users, three times its total online sessions and four times its page views. In Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville-Anderson (DMA No. 37), WYFF captured twice as many app users and nabbed 10.7 million website page views
Midwest stations’ platforms experienced huge traffic during the storm’s peak on Feb. 2. In Duluth, Minn. (DMA No. 141), the mobile site of Red River Broadcasting’s KQDS saw a 400% increase in page views from the previous day. Hubbard Broadcasting’s WDIO registered double the website visits from January’s daily average. KAAL, the Hubbard Broadcasting ABC station serving Southeastern Minnesota (DMA No. 153), captured double the site and app traffic of the previous day, six times higher than January’s daily average. Red River Broadcasting’s KDLT in Sioux Falls, S.D. (DMA No. 110) snagged triple the mobile page views as the daily average in January. Finally, Hubbard’s KSTP, serving Minneapolis and St. Paul, totaled three times the app, mobile and website visits as January’s daily average.
“Data confirms that when vital information is most in demand, local residents not only predominantly rely on local broadcast TV for local and regional news updates, they are also utilizing local TV station websites as a primary source for timely updates and information, especially during weather emergencies,” said Steve Lanzano, TVB president and CEO. “Local TV stations and their online and mobile sites are essential providers of urgent and up-to-date information that residents consistently rely upon.”