TiVo Killed the Video Star
The television industry is getting increasingly nervous about the affects of TiVo and other DVR devices.
[T]he one piece of technology that has altered the TV landscape more than any other was not mentioned by any executive at any of the upfronts: the digital video recorder or DVR. More and more couch potatoes are using TiVo (Research) or cable boxes with DVRs built in to watch shows when they want and fast forward through the commercials. And even though TV ratings tracker Nielsen Media Research now has separate rankings for so-called “time-shifted” viewing of shows, advertisers appear to be wary of these figures because they know that many DVR viewers probably skip ads.
“Nobody wanted to bring up the DVR because none of the networks are sure on the issue. You cannot enter into an agreement where you tell your advertiser to pay for DVR eyeballs without accounting for people that are fast forwarding through commercials,” said one media buyer who asked not to be named.
The media buyer added that despite the buzz about how marketers can reach more viewers through new technology, he thinks the networks are still experimenting and that advertisers will be cautious as a result. “After going to the upfronts, I’m completely sickened by technology. The networks are being totally reckless and are all trying to do much to grab land. They are literally throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks,” the buyer said.
Indeed, after having had TiVo the last three years or so, I can barely stand to watch ads in the few instances where I’m not time shifting. That’s true of radio as well, especially since I have Sirius. I’d rather risk missing part of the programming than sit through commercials, so the moment an ad comes on, I’m flipping through my presets.