The broadcasting and advertising communities have, for
years, warned that time shifting television programming is hurting the bottom
line. Since consumers are able to skip past the commercials, they argue, sales
will be impacted (and, ultimately, advertising rates).
Duke University begs to differ.
A three-year study from the school, which will be published in the Journal of Marketing Research, finds that digital video
recorders have no impact whatsoever on television advertising.
Duke researchers found that 95 percent of people still watch
live television – and even those aren’t necessarily sitting through the
commercials. Channel surfing and bathroom breaks are usually timed with ad
Even folks who fast-forward through DVR’d shows are often
watching the ads, albeit at a higher speed and without sound. That still gives
companies time to get their message across. And DVR users tend to watch more
television than those without, meaning in some ways, they’re seeing more ads.
The study, it should be noted, was partially funded by Tivo.