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Study Shows that DVRs Are OK — Smartphones the Real Threat to Advertisers

Sections: HTPC, TVs, Video

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For years, DVR recordings were not counted in the TV ratings, leading to the premature, unjustified, and unfair cancellation of shows like Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and pretty much every show that nerds — the earliest adopters of the TiVo and builders of TV recording HTPC setups — like. But once the general public started time shifting, as well, the startling discovery was made that many people are lazy, and don’t bother to skip the commercials on their recordings, and all was once again well.

A new threat has risen, though — that of the tablet and the smartphone, which can cause even live TV viewers to do something other than watch dish soap commercials.

Participants in a new study were asked to watch TV normally, and special devices and software tracked how much they were actually looking at the screen:

It was found that simply turning one’s head to ignore video ads had far greater impact than DVR fast-forwarding is assumed to have. Magna Global estimates that 35% of U.S. households have DVRs and 10% of their total TV consumption is time shifted, within which 65% of ads are fast forwarded, meaning 35% x 10% x 65% = 2% of total TV ad impressions are avoided through fast forwarding. Our study found that 63% of TV impressions were avoided simply by not paying attention to the screen.

Online activities like Facebook games have been blamed for the rapid crash of the soap opera. I can see this study leading to a plethora of phone apps that will feed you trivia contests (and additional ads) while you watch. Either way, the advertising world has a new boogeyman to conquer, and certainly there will be a lot of fumbles conquering it before a touchdown.

Via: [Ad Age]

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