Zoom’s influence isn’t going away, not even in a post-COVID marketplace, according to a new report from D S Simon Media.

More than 85 percent of the local TV reporters and producers who took part in the firm’s “Future of Local TV Interviews” study said that they will continue to use Zoom for interviews with brand spokespeople after the pandemic.

That reliance on Zoom is part of an overall trend toward remote, on-location interviews. When asked where they would interview brand spokespeople, 93 percent said they would be willing to conduct interviews with brand and non-profit spokespeople in their homes, offices or on location.

Only 52 percent said they would conduct interviews in a client-provided studio location, and even fewer (37 percent) were willing to have spokespeople come to the television station to be interviewed.

When asked for their preferred interview location, off-site won out again. More than eight in 10 (83 percent) said they would rather conduct interviews remotely, with only nine percent opting for a client-provided studio and just seven percent saying that they’d rather have spokespeople come to the station.

“What this tells us,” said D S Simon Media CEO Doug Simon, “is stations have adapted to the increased access new technologies have given them to provide information for their viewers.”

It has also led to a demand from TV stations for content to be made available to them in multiple formats. “Because stations are accessing the content using multiple technologies, if brands are planning a media campaign such as a satellite media tour, they need to be able to deliver the signal in multiple ways or they will miss out on interview opportunities,” Simon said.

But out of those multiple ways, Zoom emerges as the most important. Most respondents (82 percent) say they currently receive interviews via Zoom, while far fewer (42 percent) take interviews via satellite and only 36 percent have the spokesperson’s team send them a video file of the interview.

One of the big pluses of on-location interviews: authenticity. Eighty-five percent of the TV producers surveyed said they felt on-location interviews came across as more authentic.

That authenticity is a big draw for consumers. According to research from user-generated content platform Stackla, 86 percent of consumers surveyed said authenticity is a key factor when they are deciding which brands they like and support.

All of which means that the “new normal” is almost certainly here to stay. “By an overwhelming margin, stations plan to continue to use Zoom and other similar tools to conduct interviews for their shows with brand and non-profit spokesperson after the pandemic ends,” said Simon.