New Dakota Poll Finds Increasing Saturation of Internet Use and ‘Smart Phone’ Use in South Dakota: KELO Makes Strong Move into InternetApril 2nd, 2012
Contact: Sam Hurst-(605) 430-4286
Television remains king, but South Dakotans are actively using the internet and ‘smart phones” as sources of information in their daily lives according the a recent survey by The Dakota Poll, and mainstream traditional media is responding by developing its own online presence. The Poll was conducted in February and March by RBI Strategies and Research of Denver, Colorado. 461 South Dakotans were surveyed. The margin of error was 4.56.
81% of South Dakotans now have access to the internet at their home or work (52% have access at both locations). Access does not decline in rural communities. While the saturation of internet access is 87% in cities, it is a remarkable 78% for people who live in rural areas. 70% of respondents use the internet every day. (http://www.pewinternet.org/Static-Pages/Trend-Data/Internet-Adoption.aspx) According to an August 2011 survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 78% of Americans use the internet.
44% of the people surveyed use a cell phone capable of accessing the internet—a so-called ‘smart phone’. Despite South Dakota’s rural profile, smart phone usage is almost exactly equal to the percentage of Americans nationwide who use ‘smart phones’. (http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Smartphone-Update-2012/Findings.aspx) 70% of the people who have a ‘smart phone’ use its internet capabilities at least once a day.
When asked if they would be willing to pay a “small monthly fee to receive local information, local news, and local sports online” an overwhelming 79% said, “no”. Only 3% said they would be willing to pay a fee for news and information.
South Dakotans are also spending money to make purchases on the internet. 71% of respondents said they had made an online purchase of between $50 and $500 in the last two months. 48% said they had “visited the website of a South Dakota business”. 24% said they had made an online purchase from a South Dakota company.
While most mainstream daily media outlets in South Dakota have websites, KELO and its West River affiliate KCLO have made the most substantial inroads with the public. When asked “What is your favorite website for state and local news?” 12% of respondents listed Sioux Falls CBS affiliate KELO. 11% listed KELO’s west river partner KCLO. Both television stations use the website www.keloland.com.
By comparison, the Rapid City Journal’s website (http://rapidcityjournal.com/) is the favorite of 8% and the Sioux Falls Argus leader website (http://www.argusleader.com/) is the favorite of 6%. The website of traditional west river regional powerhouse KOTA, www.kotatv.com is the favorite of only 2%. (KOTA has recently launched a new web presence, www.mytown.com. The site is new and has been heavily advertised, but was not tested in the Dakota Poll.) These outcomes suggest that KELO is extending its traditional broadcast dominance into the internet.
57% of respondents said that they visit Facebook. One third, 33%, said that they use Facebook every day. But when asked the question: “Which one do you have more confidence in—local news as reported by newspapers, TV or radio stations—or what ordinary citizens write on blogs, Facebook, and the like?” 69% said that they have the most confidence in traditional newspapers/TV/Radio. Only 6% said that they had confidence in blogs, Facebook, and the like.”
Battle Between Traditional Media
When asked to describe their “main source of national news”, South Dakotans overwhelmingly chose television—56%. Internet sources are the main source of national news for 25% of respondents. Newspapers are the main source for 13%. Radio 6%.
The numbers change dramatically when the question was changed from “national news” to “local news”. 39% said they rely on newspapers for local news. 36% rely on television. 14% rely on internet.
28% of respondents to the Dakota Poll said that they read the online edition of their regular newspaper or both the online and print edition.
7% said that they had dropped their paid subscription to the printed newspaper in favor of the online edition.
When asked the question: “…if your local newspaper no longer existed, would that have a major impact, a minor impact, or no impact on your ability to keep up with information and news about your local community?” 39% said it would have a major impact. 35% said it would have a minor impact. 25% said it would have no impact.
In a battery of seven questions designed to reveal the “quality” of news coverage in South Dakota, and the credibility of television news compared to newspapers, the results were heavily tilted in favor of local television. For example, when asked to rate “the quality of your local newspaper on reporting the news accurately”: 19% reported “excellent” and 24% answered “only fair or poor”. By comparison, when asked the same question of their “favorite local TV news station”, 24% reported “excellent” and 9% answered “only fair or poor”.
Complete survey results from “The Dakota Poll on South Dakota Media” are available at dakotapoll.com.
The Dakota Poll is also available on Facebook
NOTE FROM JODY SEVERSON: When reviewing crosstab tables, remember that the percentages shown in the “toplines” may vary from those shown in the crosstab table. In the survey, some people were not asked some of the questions. For example, people who do not have Internet access were not asked the battery of questions detailing Internet usage. In the toplines, all percentages are shown as a percentage of the entire sample, all 461 interviews, e.g., all South Dakotans. In some of the crosstab tables, for each question which was asked only to a subgroup (Internet users, for example), the percentages are shown as a percentage of the group that answered that particular question.
We did it this way to keep the topline numbers consistent and to be sure that people were not misled by overlooking the fact that some people may not have been asked a given question.