An increasing number of viewers are choosing to watch TV via DVR playback.
While the increase is small, a 1% overall in crease from the live program, DVR is significantly adding to the number of people watching — an overall increase of 20%. The four networks together are averaging a 10% increase in viewership.
The way Neilsen rated programs changed two years ago over significant outcry from the industry. The conventional wisdom at the time was that if Neilsen used the so-called commercial-plus three ratings, advertisers would discover that they were being skipped by viewers. Nielsen went ahead anyway replacing its use of the more simple program ratings.
“Networks initially opposed the commercial-plus-three system because 6% to 8% of commercials were already being avoided during live broadcasts because people switched channels. With the explosive growth of the DVR, which clearly promoted skipping commercials, the whole network business model looked to be headed for cancellation.” — From the NY Times.
Turns out there was nothing to fear. Individual shows have gained substantially by DVR and, by some unaccountable reason, so have the advertisers: “According to Nielsen,” reports the Time’s article, “46% of viewers 18 to 49 years old for all four networks taken together are watching the commercials during playback, up slightly from last year.”
So, because of their DVRs, 20% more people are watching shows and about 50% of these are watching the ads.
Who would have guess?