The NewsDemon Blog

DVR Users Like Television Commercials

November 2nd, 2009


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.


More Than Meets The Eye – Artist Wants Robot Eye

November 17th, 2008

Before and After?

Before and After?

Tanya Vlach a San Francisco artist who lost an eye in a 2005 car accident, wants a Web cam installed into her prosthesis. Vlach, who now wears a realistic acrylic prosthesis says she’s issued a challenge to engineers on her blog: build an “eye cam” for her prosthesis that can dilate with changes of light and allow her to blink to control its zoom, focus, and on/off switch.

“It is possible to build a wireless camera with the dimensions of the eyeball,” said Want, a senior principal engineer at Intel. “You can find spy cams or nanny cams designed to fit into inconspicuous places in the home.”

Want also saw the potential for a system like this to serve as a personal memory back-up saying, “You’d never lose anything. You could ask it, ‘Where was the last time I saw my keys?'”

Once she’s captured some content, Vlach wants the freedom to move it to a PC by Bluetooth, Firewire, USB or memory card. The eye would be powered with a wireless charger. Uploading the content to Newsgroups could be a great channel to share and communicate her content.

Vlach’s challenge, first reported by tech blogger Kevin Kelly, has inspired blog posts from around the world and e-mails to Vlach from dozens of eager engineers. We’ll be keeping an eye out for more details [sic].


Jonathon Ross, Russel Brand Upsets BBC, British Comedy Awards and Andrew Sachs

October 31st, 2008

f_0_brand_sachs_320.jpgJonathon Ross has already cost BBC TV hundreds of thousand of pounds, leading to a 12-week suspension due to a series of prank calls to Andrew Sachs.Estimates range around £550,000 in cancelled studio costs alone.

Jonathon Ross has since stepped down as the host of the British Comedy Awards, breaking tradition over the last 17 years of the 18 year old award show history.

A spokesman for Ross said of the British Comedy Awards: “It’s a show he very much enjoys being part of but would not want his participation in this year’s event to take away from the awards themselves or the many talented winners of the awards.”

The offensive on-air comments presented by both Johathon Ross and Russell Brand on the Radio Two show against veteran actor Andrew Sachs, famed for his role in the bumbling Spanish waiter Manuel in the 1970’s comedy Fawlty Towers, have unleashed a political storm throughout the UK. Complaints topped 30,000.

The situation was sparked when Ross and Brand aired recordings of multiple explicit voicemail messages of Sachs, 78, in which they told him Brand had sex with his granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, 23, a burlesque performer who is a member of a group called the Satanic Sluts.

Lesley Douglas, the controller of Radio 2, was forced out of her job. Following an emergency meeting of the BBC Trust, Miss Douglas announced that she was resigning her post after four years, admitting that she was ultimately responsible for allowing the offending material to be broadcast.

The BBC Trust has also demanded that the BBC management broadcast an apology to licence fee payers on Radio 2 for what it called “serious and deliberate breaches” of the editorial code. It has also instructed Mr Thompson to write a personal apology to Mr Sachs and his granddaughter for the “deplorable intrusion”.

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