People Skip Ad's, But Watch Movie Trailers

by Paul William Tenny

The title pretty much says it all, studies based on data collected by TiVo show that people who skip advertisements tend to watch trailers for feature films. That's not exactly a surprise, or should be, movie trailers are pretty big draws on the Internet and they aren't advertisements so much as condensed creative content - or ultra fast bits of entertainment.

On March 27, for example, DreamWorks scored a 21.1 rating for its "Disturbia" commercial that aired during Fox drama "House," which scored only a 20.2 rating.

Movie ads in general scored well. The top commercials in late March through late April viewed by TiVo users who were watching shows -- and commercials -- that had been recorded were "Disturbia" (No. 1), Universal's "Georgia Rule" (No. 8), Sony's "Perfect Stranger" (No. 9) and "Spider-Man 3" (No. 10).

The following period's top 10 included "Surf's Up," "Knocked Up," "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" and "License to Wed."

TiVo has the same flaws that Nielsen does, in that their sampling is way too small to be useful. That doesn't stop the broadcast networks and advertisers from salivating all over the numbers when they look good, yet crying like babies when they look bad. They value those ratings like gold, yet arguably they are totally meaningless. There are something on the order of 100 million households in the United States that watch TV on any given night, and yet Nielsen I think only samples 10,000 of them. It's ridiculously inane, and I think DVR tracking can help improve the accuracy of ad tracking immensely, though it's just going to piss off the advertisers even more, since I think just about everyone who has even been given the opportunity to skip ads with a DVR before does so regularly from that point forward.

It's the one true great feature of a DVR, even beyond the time-shifting aspects.


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