May 13, 2011

The Monster That Wouldn't Die

(Apparently, Blogger lost this post yesterday, so I'm re-posting it today.) 

According to the geniuses of marketing punditry, TiVo was supposed to have killed off live TV and TV advertising by now.

If anything, it is the opposite.

Nielsen released its "State of the Media" report a few week ago and, as usual, they buried the lead.

The key story here was, once again, the remarkably small effect that time-shifting has thus far had on TV viewing and advertising.

According to their study, about 7.7% of total TV viewing was time-shifted in 2010. Since DVR users skip ads about 60% of the time, this means that a little over 4% of total TV spots were missed. Which, by the way, is about the same percentage of spots that are missed by live TV viewers going off to make a tinkle.

As small as Nielsen's numbers are, I am officially skeptical of them. I think they may be overstated.

As reported here earlier, a study released by the Duke University last May showed that people with DVRs time-shifted their viewing only 5% of the time. Since 38% of the population has DVRs, this would yield a result of about 2% of total viewing being time-shifted and only about 1.2% of spots being missed.

Since the introduction of DVRs in the late '90s, TV viewing has grown over 20%. So even if Nielsen's numbers are correct, the positive effect of more TV viewing is five times the negative effect of spots being skipped.

I'm just curious. How come I never see this statistic reported anywhere?

Relentlessly refusing to die, TV advertising continued its dominance. While all advertising spending grew about 5%, TV spending grew 8% and accounted for about 57% of total advertising expenditures.

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