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DVR viewers still watch two-thirds of ads

Nielsen has released intriguing new data into the viewing habits of DVR households. Viewers watch about two-thirds of the ads in large part because they still watch half of their programming live — mostly news and sports. Viewers who watch time-shifted programming watch 40 percent of the ads. During the first 27 hours after being recorded, primetime broadcast commercials gain 16 percent in ratings. After 7 days, it’s 22 percent. “People are actually playing back more of the commercials than we thought,” said Steve Sternberg, EVP at Magna Global Media Research, an ad-buying agency. “People are buying DVRs not because they want to time-shift all of their viewing and skip all commercials, but because they want to time-shift some of their viewing.”

Adds J in comments: “People who don’t fast forward commercials are probably the same people that had vcr’s set to flash 12:00…. The data seems counterintuitive but I think people don’t realize you can just start watching programs 10-20 minutes after they start and catch up by the end of the show.”

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