DVR Users Watch More TV, Fewer Ads

Seattle -- Users of digital-video recorders increase their television viewing
by 20% and watch more shows in the process, but fewer commercials wind up on
their screens.

Those were among the top-line findings from "The DVR Monitor: WAVE IV,"
published by C-Cubed Corp. and released Sunday at the CTAM Summit here.

While flipping past commercials didn’t rank highly among respondents when
asked about why they bought a DVR or describing its benefits to a friend, users
nonetheless put that capability to the test.

"Commercial skipping is alive and well. The risk is not to accept that,"
C-Cubed principal Jennifer Choate said at a tutorial entitled, "DVRs: Under the

According to the study, DVR users said that when watching "live TV," they
didn’t screen any commercials 15% of the time. That ratio jumped to 64% among
DVR users who recorded programming.

On a more positive note for the Madison Avenue community, close to 60% of
respondents said they would always or frequently tune in ads if the spots are
"funny," while 52% said they would always or frequently watch them if they are

Survey respondents said their TV viewership averaged 20.8 hours weekly, 20%
more than when they didn’t have the service.

The survey also revealed that DVR owners watch more programs (42%) and more
channels (41%) -- findings that bucked conventional wisdom that had DVR users
only recording and then tuning in their favorite programming, according to

"There are more opportunities for both programmers and advertisers," Choate
said, noting that companies might do well to consider redirecting more direct
marketing dollars toward the small screen.

Results were culled from phone interviews conducted in May with owners who
use either stand-alone, cable- or satellite-enabled DVR equipment.

A 110-page report -- including first-ever questions concerning interactive
TV, video-on-demand and pay-per-view -- will be available in August. Choate said
C-Cubed counts more than 50 clients in the TV and entertainment