DVR proves itself to be a friend, not foe, to TV. According to a New York Times article released today, nearly half of all DVR users let the advertisements play during each showing.
A Nielsen study cited by the New York Times, and currently being discussed on Television newsgroups found that 46% of DVR viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 intentionally chose to watch advertisements rather than fast-forwarding through them.
The article from NYT that’s getting a lot of attention from entertainment and media newsgroups states:
Against almost every expectation, nearly half of all people watching delayed shows are still slouching on their couches watching messages about movies, cars and beer. According to Nielsen, 46 percent of viewers 18 to 49 years old for all four networks taken together are watching the commercials during playback, up slightly from last year. Why would people pass on the opportunity to skip through to the next chunk of program content?
The most basic reason, according to Brad Adgate, the senior vice president for research at Horizon Media, a media buying firm, is that the behavior that has underpinned television since its invention still persists to a larger degree than expected.
“It’s still a passive activity,” he said.
Two years ago, in a seismic change from past practice, Nielsen started measuring television consumption by the so-called commercial-plus-three ratings, which measure viewing for the commercials in shows that are watched either live or played back on digital video recorders within three days. This replaced the use of program ratings.
Taken in total, all of this is good news for advertisers. A shockingly high percentage of the viewers of prerecorded television programming choose to watch ads, even when given the option to skip them, and those who skipped through at 4 times real time speed still ended up watching at least a portion of a pharmaceutical commercial.