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Is audience engagement worth the buzz? The value of audience engagement, comment reading, and content for online news brands


Krebs, Isabelle; Lischka, Juliane A (2017). Is audience engagement worth the buzz? The value of audience engagement, comment reading, and content for online news brands. Journalism:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Online audience engagement, such as rating or sharing news, commenting or creating content, can enhance users’ loyalty toward online news brands. Yet recently, uncertainties have been discussed within journalism research and practice concerning the handling of online comment sections and potential negative influences – caused through comment reading – on news brands. From a brand management perspective, audience engagement and comment reading can affect a brand’s equity. This study investigates the value of audience engagement and comment reading for the customer-based brand equity of online news outlets. An online survey with n = 313 users of the digital native cohort revealed that comment reading is neither directly beneficial nor harmful for online news brands. However, for brands providing hard news comment reading seems more likely to have negative than positive relations with CBBE than for brands with other content. Sharing and liking news are associated with a stronger perceived brand quality, loyalty, and associations. User-generated content creation including commenting does not enhance customer-based brand equity. Overall, serious content proved to be a stronger driver of news brand value than any form of audience engagement.

Abstract

Online audience engagement, such as rating or sharing news, commenting or creating content, can enhance users’ loyalty toward online news brands. Yet recently, uncertainties have been discussed within journalism research and practice concerning the handling of online comment sections and potential negative influences – caused through comment reading – on news brands. From a brand management perspective, audience engagement and comment reading can affect a brand’s equity. This study investigates the value of audience engagement and comment reading for the customer-based brand equity of online news outlets. An online survey with n = 313 users of the digital native cohort revealed that comment reading is neither directly beneficial nor harmful for online news brands. However, for brands providing hard news comment reading seems more likely to have negative than positive relations with CBBE than for brands with other content. Sharing and liking news are associated with a stronger perceived brand quality, loyalty, and associations. User-generated content creation including commenting does not enhance customer-based brand equity. Overall, serious content proved to be a stronger driver of news brand value than any form of audience engagement.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:28 January 2017
Deposited On:14 Feb 2017 11:29
Last Modified:14 Feb 2017 18:42
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:1741-3001
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884916689277

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