Disabling Fast Forwarding on VOD Fare Lifts Ad Recall: Study

When it comes to disabling fast forwarding video-on-demand fare, advertisers and viewers both win.

Those were among the conclusions drawn from a study conducted by MediaScience and commissioned by A+E Networks that found advertising impact improves dramatically when the fast-forward function was disabled during VOD sessions, with ad recall increasing over 50%.

If that result was expected, these findings necessarily weren't: the study of over 350 viewers indicated that there weren’t any adverse consequence to the program experience, relative to enjoyment, entertainment or engagement. Moreover, MediaScience’s results concluded that there weren't any changes among its study group pertinent to VOD usage intent and satisfaction or platform utility.

There was also an added benefit: fast forward disabling prevented viewers from overshooting past the resumption of programming, a problem that occurs for over 50% of all viewing.

Viewers were monitored for their electrodermal responses during the sessions, in which fast forwarding was either enabled or disabled. Cameras captured the participants’ facial muscle movement for analysis of their emotional response to both programs and ads. Pre-and-post surveys were also administered to gauge differences during the test sessions.

Dr. Duane Varan, a media researcher and CEO of MediaScience, said  "the depth of the A+E Networks’ study is particularly impressive.  The level of triangulation across measures paints a compelling picture demonstrating little fallout to disabling fast forward during VOD viewing.”

Noted Julya Fridman, A+E Networks vice president, multiplatform and distribution analytics:  “Until now, there has been a lot of uncertainty about the potential tradeoffs associated with fast forward disabling.  Now, with the benefit of this research, we’re confident that it represents a win-win proposition for advertisers, programmers and distributors alike.”