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TVB: Local Stations’ Digital Platforms Vital in Snow Storms

NEW YORK—A couple of major snow storms hit both the East Coast and the Midwest in recent weeks. To get necessary emergency weather information, the Television Bureau of Advertising revealed as part of an analysis, people often turn to their local TV stations’ digital platforms, creating large traffic spikes for the stations’ online and mobile sites.

During Winter Storm Jonas, station websites for East Coast broadcasters like WGAL, covering Harrisonburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York, Pa., generated 10 million page views and 1.7 million sessions, according to the analysis, more than five times its normal traffic. The report also indicates that WBAL in Baltimore doubled its app users, tripled its total online sessions, and had quadrupled its page views.

In the Midwest, during a winter storm that took place on Feb. 2, markets also saw mass jumps in traffic. The website of KQDS in Duluth, Minn., had a 400 percent increase in page views from the previous day. KAAL in Rochester, Minn., saw its site and app traffic more than double compared to the previous day, and increase six times from the daily average in January. Stations in Minneapolis and Sioux Falls, S.D., tripled in page views and number of visits.

These results appear to back-up the study “American Conversation” by Keller Fray, which claims people seeking local and regional news visit local TV station websites more frequently than social media platforms, national TV websites and all other Internet sites.

“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, president and CEO of TVB.