News audiences say they are more likely to watch a news broadcast that always discloses the source of any third-party video it uses, according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 television viewers by Ipsos for video news production company D S Simon Productions.

Viewers were asked if they if they would be more likely, less likely or just as likely to watch a news program if they always disclosed to you as the viewer the source of this third-party video?”

Overall, 42 percent of respondents said they were more likely to watch a program that always disclosed video sources, and 39 percent were just as likely to watch—a total of 81 percent who said they would be affected negatively by disclosure. Only 16 percent said they would be less likely to watch a news program if it disclosed the sources of outside video.

“If news directors or TV producers fear using or disclosing third-party video to viewers, the survey indicates that disclosing the source of footage could actually boost ratings, not threaten them,” said Douglas Simon, president & CEO of D S Simon Productions.

Among those with college degrees, compared to those with high school or less education, there was a 50 percent drop in the number of respondents less likely to watch a station that disclosed. Thus, 84 percent of those earning $50,000 plus annually were either more likely or just as likely to watch stations that always disclosed, compared with 79 percent of those earning under $25,000. 

“TV stations looking to attract the more educated viewers that advertisers covet could be well-served by promoting their disclosure of third-party video,” notes Simon. “A popular marketing slogan for TV news programs could become ‘We disclose, you watch.’”