DVRs to Cost Broadcasters $600 Million in 'Lost' Revenue They'd Find Again if They Were Innovative

from the I'd-watch-that-ad-if-it-didn't-suck dept

Nielsen Media Research CEO Susan Whiting has released data that suggests time shifting technology could cost broadcasters $600 million next year, up from the estimated $300 million in lost revenue this year. Of course that revenue isn't "lost" as so much as it's sitting and waiting for broadcasters to finally find more innovative ways to capture it. Whiting states that about 40% of all broadcast viewing is done via DVR, and that nearly half of all DVR owners sit through the ads; a strange statistic considering that for many people, that's the primary reason to own one. So far broadcasters seem more interested in stifiling threatening technology and annoying users than tackling more innovative solutions, such as making better ads, or further blurring the line between advertising and content.


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  1.  
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    Anon, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 2:40pm

    $600 Million?

    Maybe they could recoup some of that money by not paying the Nielsen Research group to publish stupid reports.

     

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  2.  
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    Watcher, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 2:46pm

    The first step to regain viewers is to stop showing infomercials. It's sad state of technology when we've got 100+ channels and there's still nothing on worth watching.

     

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  3.  
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    Bravely Anonymous, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 2:52pm

    The only time I ever watch ads anymore are either when I am watching live (usually because I've caught up to live by skipping the ads!) or I simply forget to "time-shift" (time-shift? what happened to fast-forward?). Most of the time I make full use of my DVR's dual tuners and never watch a commercial at less then 8x!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:03pm

    Without the TiVo, I would probably only watch about 25% of the TV that I do now. The majority of my TV watching from now on, is strictly on demand. It's an on demand world. These entertainment execs need to figure this out quickly and adapt to it. They are the middlemen, if they can't figure it out, maybe the content creators can and will cut them out completely. If broadcasters and content providers start abusing the broadcast flag, I am done with cable. If there is something I really want to see, I will wait for the DVDs to be released. I will go strictly on demand ... books and broadband. A $100 not spent on cable each month will buy a lot of DVDs. Not to mention, that my local public library systems loans DVDs to patrons for free. Quite a few TV series, Discovery Channel, History Channel, etc...

    I do watch some commercials on the PVR. If it is a product or class of products I am currently interested in, or if it is funny or entertaining commercial. I make no claims of normalcy though.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:05pm

    No, please *don't* further blur the line between advertising and content. The shitty Apple product placement ads are bad enough, I don't need every show I watch trying to wrap a joke of a script around a bunch of scripts.

     

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  6.  
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    Old Guy, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:24pm

    Yeesh

    Most programming reeks. About 25% of all programming is informercials. This is in addition to the bazillion commercials we are buried in with every program we watch. The "premium" channels don't have enough variety to be truly worth while. I only have cable for two reasons:
    1. My wife is a huge sports fan (and keeping her happy makes for a much more enjoyable home life)
    2. With the deal I get from Comcast it's cheaper to get internet, cable and phone than just internet & phone.

     

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  7.  
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    Ron, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:27pm

    Time Shifting

    If it wasn't for time-shifting I would watch less TV and less ads. My schedule won't allow me to watch TV until 8 PM, and a lot of the shows that I like start at 7 PM (mountain time zone here). So the only way that I can watch them is by time-shifting.

    Prevent my time-shifting, and I will watch more DVDs instead.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:29pm

    I don't care at all about the ads, leave them! I just enjoy the ability to watch the shows I want when I want. Most the casual TV viewers I know feel the same way. To many of us it's not about skipping the commercials but the convenience.

     

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  9.  
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    Brian, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 3:35pm

    Are there "good" ads?

    Submitter says they can curb this through means such as "making better ads". It's naive to think that people will not timeshift past all of the ads, both bad and good alike. That's really not a solution.

    I hate to say it, but the only way is product placement, ad integration, etc. Which to me, is far more annoying than commercials.

    Am I the only one who hates it when you can tell a product was blatantly inserted into a scene for ad purposes? To me, that's more distracting than sitting through 90 seconds of ads - at least I know they're ads and I can ignore them.

     

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  10.  
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    Tivo Fanatic, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:02pm

    How'd they lose $600M?

    The whole idea that broadcasters lost advertising dollars because of DVR's is stupid. Have TV advertising rates gone down? Are there less commercials on the air? I don't think so. Advertisers are still buying ads, we just aren't watching them all. Advertisers will eventually figure this out and not be willing to pay as much, but for right now I don't see how anyone has lost $$$ on this.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:03pm

    I skip commercials. If I couldn't, there are shows that I probably wouldn't watch because the ROI wouldn't be high enough. It's very similar to the RIAA's monetary loss claims. Is it really a "loss" if I wouldn't have watched the commercial-laden turd of a show anyway?

    The only TV show that has been able to draw me to their website is "The Office" the extra and deleted scenes are hilarious and definitely worth it. And I didn't know about the website until someone sent me an email about a feature the site has where you can have one of the characters dial your friends and say any of several different inside jokes. Now, THAT is how to get viewers to your website and keep them coming back.

     

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  12.  
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    B_Billy, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:05pm

    Good Ol' VHS

    Does anyone remember VCRs? My good 'ol dependable antique is still humming along and does everything I need it to do. That includes fast forwarding past commercials.
    Hooray for not-so-modern technology!!!

     

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  13.  
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    BigRef, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:14pm

    It's monopoly money. The money they think they should have had if the hadn't screwed it up. 1 out of 3 minutes is advertising and of the three minutes, one is self promotion - useless news tidbits or the same preview 11 times an hour. They wonder why people don't want it - but every one of them owns a TiVo.

     

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  14.  
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    Randy, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:25pm

    Tivo wishes

    That they, or any other disk had --

    Whiting states that about 40% of all broadcast viewing is done via DVR, and that nearly half of all DVR owners sit through the ads; a strange statistic considering that for many people, that's the primary reason to own one.

     

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  15.  
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    Randy, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:26pm

    Tivo wishes

    That they, or any other disk had --

    Whiting states that about 40% of all broadcast viewing is done via DVR, and that nearly half of all DVR owners sit through the ads; a strange statistic considering that for many people, that's the primary reason to own one.

     

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  16.  
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    tracker1, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:30pm

    I watch some ads..

    I dvr comedy central's daily show, and colbert report... and must admit, sometimes it flows into commercials and I watch.. why, because most of them on this network are actually entertaining...

     

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  17.  
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    Jamie, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:37pm

    I really only care about the timeshifting

    I'm one of those people who end up watching most of the ads on shows on my DVR. i really don't care about the ads. the reason I have a DVR is that I am not home much during primetime. If I didn't have a DVR, I wouldn't watch TV. I really like the timeshifting ability, because it lets me watch shows that I would never see otherwise. So they aren't losing any money on me. The only thing they lose, is the ability to control when I watch TV.

     

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  18.  
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    Ryan, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:54pm

    I totally agree that they should NOT try to blur the lines between advertising and commercials. A few prime examples of how this is horrible include the ad for the "trivection oven" on NBC's 30 Rock and the ridiculously bad taste displayed by one of my favorite shows, The Office, when they blatantly advertised a Staples paper shredder. I still love the show but if I keep seeing ads that are so obvious I will start losing respect very quickly. I never minded watching people drink coke or pepsi on screen, or other similar 'passive' product placement...but too many shows, especially comedies, are trying to play these COMMERCIALS off as viable jokes.

    I work in the television industry and I fully support BETTER ads. I work wierd hours so every show I watch is on the DVR and I do in fact stop for some commercials if they look interesting or funny. Another idea would be to include a static logo in the ad that would be clearly visibly throughout the fast-forwarding process.

    Also, to whoever was confusing 'time-shifting' with 'fast-forwarding', they are two different things. Time-shifting is the act of recording a show and 'shifting' when you watch it to a later time...and I think you probably know what fast-forwarding is.

    As far as the VCR argument is concerned, those of us who enjoy our programming in HD don't have this option as the only thing capable of recording these programs currently are DVRs.

     

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  19.  
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    Ryan, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 4:59pm

    one more idea

    One more idea I had...which isn't my favorite as a tv watcher, but makes sense if you're trying to negate the DVR's effects...is to make commercial breaks more frequent, but with only one or two commercials per break. This idea occurred to me when I realized that I usually end up seeing the first and last commercial in a break, even with fast-forwarding.

     

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  20.  
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    Hoeppner, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 5:11pm

    by innovative do you mean having the characters mention product A 50 times in an hour. Or better yet banner ads.

     

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  21.  
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    Anon, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 5:17pm

    Funny thing though

    The funny thing is that people have been avoiding commercials long before now. How many times have you said "Good, a commercial. Now I can _."

    Not to mention the people who used their ancient VCRs to "time-shift" and fast forward through the commercials.

    What's changed?

    Oh, now they have tools to actually try and do something about it....

    This is why I get my news on the web, and my entertainment via DVD. All the TV shows I watch I buy a season at a time on DVD. (Movies too. No more theaters for me - I'm tired of being accused of being a thief every time I sit in a theater.)

     

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  22.  
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    Matthew, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 6:18pm

    Better ads

    I do believe that better ads are a solution I fast forward through ads but you know I will stop when a Man Law ad comes on.

    Also the "blurring the line" can be effective but not annoying. Like people drinking Pepsi in my show. or How about when Will Smith was using his blackberry? That sort of passive advertisement doesn't bother me.

    I too am very "on demand" Who really has time these days to reschedule life around a tv? I wont have TV execs messing with what I watch, i will do just like the others and buy what I want to watch.

    TiVo is not a new concept I used a VCR for the same thing 10 years ago. and watched what I wanted when i wanted and will always find a way to be in control of MY entertainment

     

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  23.  
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    No One, Dec 9th, 2006 @ 9:19am

    Re:

    A static logo in the corner for 30 minutes so it can burn into my plasma? That would be the ultimate advertising but no f'ing way. I just wait for TV shows that interest me to come out on DVD and only watch hockey and educational programs on discovery and whatnot. And frankly, if we didn't see the same commercial 3 or more times during the same show, even multiple times on the same break, people might be a bit more forgiving.

     

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  24.  
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    Thomas, Dec 10th, 2006 @ 8:07am

    Banner ads

    If I have recorded something using my VCR then I will fast-forward commercials unless it is worth watching ("so easy a caveman can do it"), but if I am watching it "live" then I watch the commercials.

    What bothers me are the banner ads displayed during the show, which are not only distracting, but they block the screen. The worst offender I can think of is the Lifetime channel and their "my story" BS. As soon as the show starts a banner taking up a forth of my screen appears at the bottom letting me know what I am watching and then they let me know what show is next, then the show after the next show and then the show that follows that one. Currently, the family channel is displaying their "25 days of Christmas" banner when the shows come back from commercial. Out of all the banner ads shown the worst is NASCAR because those even have the sound of a car engine revving, as if the viewers want to hear that.

     

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  25.  
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    Thomas, Dec 10th, 2006 @ 8:19am

    Banner ads

    If I have recorded something using my VCR then I will fast-forward commercials unless it is worth watching ("so easy a caveman can do it"), but if I am watching it "live" then I watch the commercials.

    What bothers me are the banner ads displayed during the show, which are not only distracting, but they block the screen. The worst offender I can think of is the Lifetime channel and their "my story" BS. As soon as the show starts a banner taking up a forth of my screen appears at the bottom letting me know what I am watching and then they let me know what show is next, then the show after the next show and then the show that follows that one. Currently, the family channel is displaying their "25 days of Christmas" banner when the shows come back from commercial. Out of all the banner ads shown the worst is NASCAR because those even have the sound of a car engine revving, as if the viewers want to hear that.

     

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  26.  
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    Rico J. Halo, Dec 10th, 2006 @ 8:47am

    typical

    The knee jerk response by any industry is always going to be sue first and innovate only if forced to. Reason being is we have so many damned lawyers and people are basically lazy.

    If we had better protection against frivolous law suits that made it costly for companies to be lazy things might change. Something as simple as a company always being responsible for all court costs if they lose would change things drastically.

    Normally Im never in favor of any anti business laws but the situation with lawyers is out of control.

     

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  27.  
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    PD, Dec 10th, 2006 @ 12:29pm

    I'm thinking old-timey radio ads...

    In old radio programs from the forties, the ads were simply part of the show. the characters and the advertizers discussed the product, and then the plot continued. I don't know why that ever changed. It was a great system.

     

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  28.  
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    Witty name, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 7:20am

    Cisco

    As a Cisco phone admin I always notice the Cisco product placements on TV. Look at the phones on shows like "The Office" and "24" always Cisco's latest and greatest. You will see in the Credits that Cisco gave the show a grant. I still love in the first season of 24 in the midst of an inside job to kill the first major African-American Presidential cantidate CTU installed a seamless phone system upgrade between 2 AM and 3 AM without the auidence (or end users for that matter) noticing.

    I don't remember what season of 24 it was in as well but I remember the terrorist were trying to hack into the system and the director of CTU asked Chloe, "Is there any threat"

    Chloe: "No, the Cisco servers are self-defending"

    Camera shot to the main display window with the Cisco logo and the words "Hack prevented"

     

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


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