Thursday, February 15, 2007

People With DVRs Still Watch 2/3s Of Ads They Could Skip

Huh? The NYTimes reports that a Nielsen survey says people with DVRs (the devices pioneered by Tivo that record shows onto a harddrive) still watch TWO-THIRDS of all the ads they could skip over. Wow, that sounds bizarre, I thought. I almost NEVER watch ads and I rarely watch any TV live anymore, even shows like "American Idol." Once in a great while I'll rewind to watch a movie trailer or something that catches my eye. I'm guessing, but I'd say I watch maybe 3% of all ads I'm exposed to in my heavy TV viewing. Still, I know my sister got her DVR recently and she often forgets to skip the ads and is still used to thinking that running around during commercial breaks is a better use of her time than sitting still for 40 minutes. (She's a pretty antsy gal.) But I bet she skips more and more as she becomes used to the technology and I'll bet her young kids skip ads a LOT more. Still, two-thirds of all ads seemed pretty high. Then I read the story and found out Nielsen was including ads people who owned DVRs watched live. In other words, you own a DVR so you could tape "American Idol." But if you watched it live (which many people do) and of course you watched the ads, that counted as not skipping over them. Ditto for the Grammys, sporting events and so on. This is pretty darn misleading, to say the least and there's no further breakdown to see how much of this average came from events people watched live. Couting that as an ad watched when they didn't have to (even though in fact, they HAD to) is disingenuous to say the least.

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