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New Study of Bar-based Media Shows That Out-of-Home Media Can Be Effective in Reaching TV Ad Avoiders


One-third of adults have visited a bar in the past week

Fully one-third of bar patrons watch television programming at home using a DVR (digital video recorders) and approximately three-quarters use software to block advertising online, according to a national survey by Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB).

The Arbitron Bar Media Report profiles the audience for bar and lounge advertising. Nearly one-third of American adults age 21 or older are bar patrons and 43 percent of men age 21 to 34 have visited a bar or lounge in the past week. The report reveals that bar-based advertising has the potential to reach not only a significant portion of adult consumers, but concentrate its message among those who actively avoid advertising delivered on television or the Internet.

“Advertisers come to us trying to figure out how best to counteract commercial avoidance in their media plan, especially among young adults” said Diane Williams, senior analyst, custom research, Arbitron, Inc. “The results of this survey strongly suggest that advertising placed in bars goes a long way towards reaching this elusive and valuable consumer segment.”

The Bar Media Audience Consumers TV and Music Differently
Bar patrons embrace new media and technologies at a faster pace than average Americans, particularly new television and music platforms. The research shows that bar patrons are more likely than average Americans age 21 or older to watch TV shows online (streaming), through Internet downloads, using cable provider Video On Demand (VOD) services or on DVD. All of these new ways of consuming TV programming, combined with DVR usage, significantly limit the viewer’s exposure to traditional TV commercials. On the other hand, 42 percent of bar patrons have watched TV in a bar in the past month. This represents an opportunity for brands to reach those users with TV ads that cannot be skipped.

The music listening habits of bar-goers also differ from the general population. Fifty-eight percent of weekly bar patrons have ever listened to radio online and 16 percent have listened to radio over the Internet in the past week. Bar-goers are also more likely to be subscribers to satellite radio services such as XM or Sirius. Furthermore, 43 percent of bar-goers own an iPod or other MP3 player and 27% have purchased music online from sites such as iTunes.

How this study was conducted
A national telephone survey was conducted with 1,573 randomly selected respondents aged 21 and older between January 18 and February 15, 2008, using a random sampling of Arbitron diarykeepers. In areas where diarykeepers were not available random digit dialing (RDD) was employed. In addition to basic demographic information, respondents were asked about their bar or lounge-going habits and consumer attitudes.


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