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More on Features By Judicial Fiat

A propos my filing of 5/3, below, AdAge has a story today about Personal Video Recorders like TiVO and Replay, in which it reports that

  1. there aren't nearly as many of these boxes around as analysts thought there'd be, and
  2. owners aren't skipping ads as much as the networks feared.

Three years ago, Forrester Research projected 50 million PVRs in homes by 2005. The Yankee Group says 350,000 were sold last year, with 1 million in homes today and 20 million -- mostly in set-top boxes -- by 2005. (As an alumnus of The Yankee Group, I always take their numbers with a large grain of salt; I know how they used to be developed. In the intervening 15-plus years, I hope their methodology is improved. One inside baseball note: George Colony left Yankee in 1983 to found Forrester Research.)

The nut grafs from AdAge:

The latest annual PVR Monitor, produced by independent research firm NextResearch, provides evidence that viewers are not automatically using PVRs to zap ads and suggests a kind of creative Darwinism is emerging, where marketers who produce ads that resonate may be able to bypass PVR hurdles. For example, the study, which surveyed 358 people who used the services, shows 92% of respondents said they watch ads that are entertaining and 69% watch for products they are interested in.

The study also showed that viewers' likelihood of watching commercials when viewing programs with PVRs vs. live TV is nearly the same. Only 1% said they always watch the ads when using a PVR or watching live TV, while 60% said they occasionally watch them with PVRs and 62% with live TV.

In other words, people will pay attention to content that interests them, and skip over stuff that doesn't. No wonder the networks are upset. And notice that the same proportion of people skip ads whether they're watching live TV or on a PVR.

Someone tell the judge, OK?



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