Bar-based Media Can Reach TV Ad Avoiders

July 11, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Men | Out-of-Home | Radio | Television

Bar-based advertising has the potential to not only reach a significant portion of adult consumers but also to concentrate its message among those who actively avoid advertising delivered on television or the internet, according to a national survey by Arbitron Inc.

Nearly one-third of American adults age 21 or older are bar patrons, and 43% of men age 21-34 have visited a bar or lounge in the past week, finds the Arbitron Bar Media Report, which profiles the audience for bar and lounge advertising.

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 the study.

Below, findings from the research.

Bar patrons embrace new media and technologies at a faster pace than average Americans, particularly new television and music platforms:


  • 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 which limit viewer’s exposure to traditional TV commercials.
  • On the other hand, 42% of bar patrons have watched TV in a bar in the past month – 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:

  • 58% of weekly bar patrons have ever listened to radio online and 16% 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.
  • Some 43% of bar-goers own an iPod or other MP3 player and 27% have purchased music online from sites such as iTunes.

About the study: 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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