Study: Net Drives Product/Service Awareness

Attention advertisers, more Internet users say that the net keeps them better informed about what products and services to buy than it does any other category of information.

That is according to a new Pew Research Center study, the latest in a series of repots tied to the 25th anniversary of World Wide Web.

The study found that 81% of users say the net and their cell phones, increasingly a broadband access tool of choice, "has made them better informed about products and services to buy than was the case five years ago."

Pew said the study also buttressed the idea that people like having all that information at the click of a mouse or the swipe or tap of a finger, rather than seeing it as information overload, with "72% of internet users reporting they liked that access, compared with 26% who said they felt 'overloaded.'"

That "products and services" category was the top percentage in terms of being better informed thanks to the Internet and cell phones.

Next was national news, with 75% saying those technologies had made them better informed than they were five years before, followed by international news at 74% (within the margin of error so essentially a dead heat). Local news was further down the list at 62%, topped by popular culture (72%), hobbies and personal interests (68%), friends (67%) and health/fitness (65%).

The study was an online survey conducted Sept. 12-18, 2014, among 1,066 adult internet users, ages 18 and older. the margin of error was plus or minus 3.2 percentage points at a 95% level of confidence. That means that if the survey were repeated numerous times, 95% of those would be expected to yield similar results.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.