Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I just don't believe it.

Under the headline "DVR, Once TV’s Mortal Foe, Helps Ratings," the New York Times reports that "nearly half" of all people who watched DVR-recorded shows still watch the commercials. With DVR penetration at about 33%, this is a very meaningful issue to television advertisers. I've said for a long time that when the DVR penetration passes 50% the TV industry is going to face a massive profitability crisis based on declining revenues (driven both by price and volume).

The source for this nonsense is Nielsen, whose spokesman says it all makes sense because TV is a "passive media", thus explaining why so many people would not press the fast forward button to skip the ads.

I know it's dangerous to take your own behavior and extrapolate it to all others. But I know I record shows PRECISELY so that I don't have to watch the commercials, and only pause to see the latest ones from Apple because they are so entertaining.

And my guess is that almost everyone else is doing the same thing, no matter what Nielsen has to say about it.

What do you do?