Monday, November 2, 2009

DVR--good news or bad news for TV advertisers?

It is the sort of story I usually see in the TV trades, the rags that are required to find a silver lining in every media cloud if they hope to hang onto their subscriber base. But this one comes from the New York Times, who have no reason to pump up TV. The article talks about how TV owners and advertisers once saw the DVR--TiVo and the like--as the worst possible thing that could happen. People would record expensive primetime programming and watch it later. Sometimes weeks later. And the stations would not get the benefit of the ratings.

Well, Nielsen will now count that viewing if it occurs within about three weeks from the original airing, so the stations get the ratings that they can sell to advertisers. And who cares when people watch a show so long as they watch it? A good show, pitted in the same time slot as an established hit on another network, now has the ability to find a sizeable audience...albeit one that is delayed in viewing. That does seem like a good thing. "House" and "The Office" are mentioned as big beneficiaries of time-delayed viewing.

That same research also gets credit in the Times article for more good news about the devilish DVR: people are actually not skipping commercials when they finally get around to watching that recorded programming. In fact, the article crows, 46% of the valuable 18-49-year-olds say they do not fast-forward through the commercial breaks. 46%!

That reminds me of those casinos who claim "97% payout on our slot machines!" That just means that for every dollar you feed the little monster, 3 cents goes into the coffers of the casino. Three dollars out of every Benjamin. That adds up when you sit there all day, feeding the slot dollar bills.

And if 46% are not fast-forwarding past those high-priced ads, 54% are. Does that mean the networks are going to start charging advertisers 54% less for those commercials?

Right now, they are simply fast-forwarding past that question.

Don Keith N4KC


Anonymous said...

Hi Don,

I like your posts because they bring up sides to things I never consider.

Funny story about the DVR. We have Directv with the DVR. My Son who is eight years old records every episode of Mythbusters so we've had the great fortune to watch them all forty-seven times. Even if the remote control is not within arms reach I usually will get up to find it just to FF through the commercials so I guess that puts me in the 54% catagory.

Anyway the Duct tape episode of Mythbusters that aired recently was great. I did enjoy seeing the duct tape cannon fire again.

Best Regards

Anonymous said...

Mike, thank you for stopping by and posting. The DVR is a wonderful thing...even though I make my living and pay for my hobby partly through my job in the advertising biz!

Visit whenever you can...and 73,

Don N4KC

bathmate said...

@anonymas:what the heck?