Set-Top-Box Lexicon: Commercial Avoidance

CIMM is taking a pro-active role in advancing new media nomenclature and processes with both the Lexicon(terms and definitions associated with Set-Top-Box data measurement) and recently released Asset Identification Primer (glossary of asset terms). These documents form the basis of this column, which offers a common language for Set-Top-Box nomenclature that can expedite the rollout of the data for its many industry applications.

DVR penetration is approaching critical mass. A large part of the hand-wringing over DVR roll-out is the fear of increased opportunities for consumer commercial avoidance. In the past, viewers could avoid ads by multitasking, muting via their remote or even leaving the room. Now, with relative ease, viewers can use their DVRs to skip commercials by fast-forwarding through them in trick play (Set-Top-Box Lexicon: Trick Play) mode. While there are increasing instances where fast-forwarding is disabled, the majority of content can still be viewed in trick-play mode.



Not all trick play is commercial avoidance, but the ease and facility of the DVR trick-play capability arguably contributes to it. Here are some terms and definitions concerning commercial avoidance:

Commercial Avoidance

See also: Ad Skipping

CIMM DEFINITION : Use of trick play or channel switching to avoid viewing commercials. Trick play in this case can be fast-forwarding, skipping ahead or muting. Also includes viewers leaving the room to avoid commercials, changing channels or engaging in other activities.

Ad Skipping

See also: Commercial Avoidance, Trick Play, Measured Ad Skipping

CIMM DEFINITION : The act of fast-forwarding (or skipping ahead as on TIVO) and therefore not completely viewing an ad. It is one possible result of a viewer using the trick play mode of DVRs and other recording devices.

NOTE – There are other forms of commercial avoidance such mental tune-out, conversation, other activities e.g. reading, using a phone or a computer device.  (Source: TRA)

Measured Ad Skipping

See also: Ad Skipping

CIMM DEFINITION : Ad skipping based on actual Set-Top-Box tune-away data. (Source: Visible World)


See also: Commercial Avoidance, Trick Play

CIMM DEFINITION : Can be done in live mode or one possible trick-play mode where the sound is lowered to an inaudible level. Is considered part of Commercial Avoidance.

Please refer to the CIMM Lexicon online at for additional information on these and other terms.

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