DVR Users Aren't Costing Ad Revenue -- Just Making It More Efficient
from the not-necessarily dept
Research firms seem to really enjoy claiming that some new technology or service will "cost" an industry some amount of money -- even if that's not really the best way to look at it. Remember all the fear about how much Craigslist was "costing" newspapers? In that situation it wasn't Craigslist costing the newspapers anything -- it was those newspapers' inability to adapt to the changing marketplace. Blaming Craigslist is a way to take responsibility off the newspapers. It's similar in the entertainment industry, with the movie industry blaming piracy for costing it some amount that it's clear they would never have received from revenue. The latest, though, is in the DVR space. A research firm is claiming that all those people who skip commercials on their DVR may be costing TV firms about $8 billion. Again, that's backwards. It's not the DVRs or the users costing the industry, but the industry's inability to change with the times. Already, we're seeing many creative attempts to deal with commercial skippers. What will happen over time is that, as certain methods are found to work, more TV ad dollars will shift to the methods that work, and the "loss" balances out. To assume that commercial skipping costs the industry money is ignoring the fact that most of that money is probably wasted right now. A large part of commercial advertising isn't very effective -- with most TV viewers not caring about those ads. What commercial skipping is doing is helping to highlight for the industry how to make sure their advertising efforts are more effective. If they want to look on that as "costing" them revenue, then that's their own loss.