DVR Owners Watch Less TV -- Well, Sort Of -- Okay, Not Really

from the tripping-over-the-numbers dept

Last Fall, TV networks moved to assure advertisers that DVRs weren't the death knell of advertising, as among other things, DVR owners watched more TV than people without the devices. Now, a new study apparently indicates the opposite -- that DVR owners watch less TV. Well, sort of, anyway: all the study seems to show is that DVR owners are less likely than non-owners to watch 45 hours or more of TV in a week. Furthermore, the study is reliant on interviews, with a good chance people underreported how much TV they actually watch. After all, nobody really wants to own up to watching that Buffy The Vampire Slayer marathon one day last week, followed by hour upon hour of Baywatch reruns. The networks say their research backs up their original claim that DVR owners do indeed watch less TV overall, something this new study -- or at least its press release -- doesn't cover. But "DVR owners less likely to watch more than 44.5 hours of TV per week than non-DVR owners" doesn't make for the juiciest lead, does it?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Jim, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:04pm

    Weird

    Wouldnt DVR users be bound by their hard drive?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Watcher, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:07pm

    Always On

    I have found that I watch more TV programs, however with the DRV we can watch more in less time. We pick up shows that we wouldn't normally watch, but with the fast foward we skip on all those ads for stuff no one really buys anyway. So in short, more programing in less time. Which may indeed be less TV.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    tehdirtaddict, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:13pm

    What commercials?

    I barely watch TV and when I do I mostly watch recorded programming on my DVR. I skip all commercials, I really dont pay attention to them, and I don't care about them. If I want something I research on the web. Commercials push a product that I do not need or want.

    I pay for the damn DVR service, I pay for the dish service, so why are the networks bitching about? I pay for the convenience already. I do not need to watch commercials.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:15pm

    i have a dvr and i have given up on tv all together with the exception of the colbert report. but my parents still watch some tv. (im 17 years old, i dont live in the basement and collect comic books)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Seonwan, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:16pm

    Watching one hour TV program with out Ads will take 40 to 45 min. Do the calculation. With DVR at least you can skip those ads and as a result, you will watch shorter time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Darin, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:22pm

    What Advertisers should focus on

    Consumers are getting more and more control over the advertisements that they are exposed to (i.e. do not call list, spam blockers, TIVO) so advertisers need to be proactive and create content that people want to see. Superbowl commercials are an example of how consumers actively seek out ads. The next step is to make sure the brand sticks in the consumer's head given this limited exposure. TV should not waste time convincing advertisers that people do watch commercials, they should convince advertisers to create commercials that people want to watch!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:24pm

    Dewey beats Truman

    DVRs are owned by people who: (1) can afford them and (2) value their own time highly enough to spend money to get some flexibility.

    Anyone watching forty five hours of television a week (6.5 hours per day) is not high income and obviously puts a very low value on their own time.

    Faulty surveys with build in biases lead to wrong results - as in the famous "Dewey beats Truman" example.

    I own a DVR, I watch about four hours of television a week but the DVR has not reduced the amount of TV I watch - it has probably slightly increased it. I use the DVR when I expect that my kids are going to interrupt me during a program I want to watch.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Tommyboy, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:26pm

    Commercials are important!!!!!

    First, as a TIVO owner, using a DVR allows me to watch more TV, as I don't have time to catch all my shows real time.

    Second, regardless if I watch real time or on TIVO, commercials are used in the same important manner, an opportunity to hit the can, grab some drinks, or take that call.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Dewey beats Truman

    sure, it's 6.5 hours in 7 days. people only work 5, so they can make it up on their days off. I work 40 hours a week, drive an aditional 10, do housework, and still manage to get in a good 40 hours tv time. as well as do other things. i keep myself busy, i multitask. when i'm watching CSI, i'm also doing laundry, cooking, cleaning....so there.

    and you don't have to be super rich to own a dvr. just about any tech savy teenager could build a great dvr computer for about 400 bucks. or hell, upgrade their existing comp for like 100-150 (cost of tv card and harddrive)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    ?, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:47pm

    WTF?!

    There was a Buffy marathon on TV last week and I missed it?

    SUCK!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Dewey beats Truman

    You forgot a market segment.

    (3) DVRs are also USED (regardless of ownership state) by people who agreed to pay the 4.95$/month rental fee to get one straight from their cable company.

    That demographic certainly trumps your lousy argument... Most people who would rent a box from their cable company tend to watch more (speculation mine) than someone who wouldn't.

    Oh and It does let them watch TV without having to feel sorry for themselves for paying too much money for a cute "Bloop, Bloop".

    Now who's got the bias in their speculation?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    DreadedOne509, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:50pm

    More is Less

    I'm relatively new to the DVR thing, only had one for about 5 months now. Still not used to being able to fast-forward through commercials yet, so more often than not will sit through 4-5 of them before it hits me that I CAN fast-forward and by then my recorded program is showing again.

    I watch less TV now for the reasons listed above, and the fact that I now plan ahead what I will watch a bit better. DVR has allowed me to better manage my leisure time both around TV viewing and other projects.

    Viva La DVR!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    MD, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:07pm

    DVR

    I have one, I pay for one, I rarely use it.. actually I rarely use that and my internet connection...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Herbie, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:10pm

    DVR.....Good

    I don't know what I did before the DVR. I would much rather watch a show via DVR than live. When I do finally sit down for the evening, I will try and watch something I have already recorded. If I don't have anything recorded and there one of my shows is currently recording, I'll go do something until it's finished and watch it later.

    I've also started to record shows that I haven't watched because it came on as other shows I record.

    I fast forward through 90% of the commercials. If networks are worried about us skipping adds, make commercials that will catch your eye in fast forward to make you stop and go back. I've done that before. Otherwise, use product placement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Whatever he said, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:18pm

    Advertisers should stop listening to TV execs, because TV execs are losing power fast -- Advertising is in the midst of a revolution and needs to adapt.

    Every household will use DVRs differently, but everyhouse hold will have one, just like every other good piece of technology.

    My kids (12, 9, and 5) are figuring out that Tivo lets 3 of them share 1 TV, they are already skipping commercials whenever possible. They are growing up expecting efficient technology.

    Regardless of how you use a DVR, in a few years we won't know how we lived without them.

    Expect advertisers to sneak into the programs you are watching more than ever, maybe even start their own networks. When the easiest way to advertise your product is to make sure characters in your favorite shows are seen using them, the balance of power shifts out of the TV execs hands, and into the hands of the producers.

    And yes, you will still pay to watch advertising.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    tehdirtaddict, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:27pm

    Re:

    "And yes, you will still pay to watch advertising."

    No, I dot not concur. I pay for convenience already, and skipping all the commercials is one. DVR and dish are not free, so it better be what I WANT.

    DVR is to TV networks as adblock extension is to the Internet

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Garrett Socling, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:28pm

    What we miss...

    My wife and I found the only thing we really miss about commercials are knowing about movies. We are completely in the dark as we never see any commercials. Not a bad thing, as we usually rent DVD's, but we don't know when to check for cool new releases.

    Other than that, GOOD RIDDANCE commercials!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:38pm

    Brighthouse cable in Florida doesnt charge anything extra for their DVR boxes. If you purchase digital cable, you get the box free. I pay 88.89 a month for digital cable + high speed internet. Commercials are DEAD to me!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    AvyTech, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:43pm

    Why not?

    What's wrong with watching Buffy nonstop for days on end? I do it all the time...
    Viva la Buffy?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:43pm

    of course DVR owners watch more tv on average, they wouldnt pay 5-15 bucks a month for Tivo or Tivo like service if they watched 5 hours of TV a week

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:45pm

    Re: What Advertisers should focus on

    proactive like using v|agra instead of viagra to get around spam filters?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    tehdirtaddict, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: What Advertisers should focus on

    still spam filters learn that crap. We should be able to add software to our DVRs :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Jordan, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: What Advertisers should focus on

    they already do that and its stupid because there isnt a person on earth who doesnt know what viagra is, so they dont need to hear about it in their emails. If they wanted it, they could go to their doctor and get it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    bfwebster, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 2:08pm

    Huh?

    So...how many people still watch >45 hours of TV/week?

    By the way, we have 2 DVRs (both Panasonics w/DVD recorders and hard drives). I like 'em a lot better than TiVos; they don't try to tell me what to watch and they never call home. ..bruce..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Mike Lewis, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 2:21pm

    DVR Owners Watch Less TV?

    I'd have to say, I probably watch far more TV as a DVR owner. (We have 4). However, I watch it on my schedule and my terms.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    WoW Player, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 3:21pm

    Who needs TV?

    I just play WoW all the time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Kenn, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 4:09pm

    TV vs. DVD

    I used to hate TV, for one simple reason. TV doesn't end. There's always something on next.

    I used to just watch the same DVD's over and over. Then I got my Tivo, and now I can watch TV, because it ends. Then I can go do something else.

    I probably watch the same amount of stuff, it's just TV shows instead of movies. The advertisers should be glad I'm at least seeing their commercial at 3X speed instead of not seeing it at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Who needs TV?

    Heard that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Strong Bad, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 4:50pm

    I heart my DVR

    The cheat got me my DVR for free one day and I'll never go back to watching the tv in real time ever again.

    Strong Bad

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 10:05pm

    Faulty polling

    This poll is so obviously flawed. In fact, this TYPE of poll is obviously flawed.

    Serious couch potatoes are never going to be included in ANY poll or study.

    They're spending too much time watching TV, and not picking up the phone to talk to a pollster, checking snail-mail to fill out a survey, or logging onto the Internet to do anything. They're just digging their paws into the bowl of Cheetos in front of them and nudging their fat elbows at the person next to them on the couch and saying, "HOLY COW ELMER ISN'T THAT WATERSKIING SQUIRREL SO GOSH DURNED FUNNY?!?!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    ?, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 11:19pm

    Re: DVR

    Man, you need to get a life and watch more TV and look at more internet porn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This