Nielsen “Ad” Ratings Show Little DVR Impact

More good news for TV networks: A new study suggests that, even in DVR-owning households, most people still watch ads.  Nielsen’s “commercial” ratings count DVR users who watch ads within three days of the initial broadcast, as long as they don’t fast-forward through them.  Holly Sanders at the Post:

Commercial ratings across the five major networks came in only slightly below live program ratings, down 1 per cent on average among people ages 12 to 34 and among adults ages 18 to 49, according to an analysis by Magna Global research guru Steve Sternberg.

The biggest drop was among adults 50 and older, where commercial ratings were 5 per cent lower. The thinking is that older viewers are less likely to use a DVR, and therefore they aren’t playing back the ads at a later date.

This doesn’t mean networks are off the hook, as DVR penetration is still low.  It does, however, support the theory that even DVR users occasionally watch ads.  In some households, this is because DVR users still watch a lot of live TV (see below).  In this household it’s often because they forget to click “fast-forward.”  In any case, perhaps this means networks can now stop spend less time hooking people up to electrodes to prove that they remember the ads even when they skip them.

See Also:
Good News for TV Networks: Most DVRs Users Watch Live TV
TV Hits New Height of Desperation: Touts Effectiveness of Skipped Ads
Nielsen: Drop in TV Ratings is Because People Are Watching Less TV