You think you’re in control of your media? Better look closer, especially when you have a TV remote in one hand and a smartphone in the other.
David Poltrack, chief research officer of CBS Corp., says there is less fast-forwarding of TV commercials in time-shifted TV programs, with only 50% of TV commercials zipped through. It’s not that TV consumers necessarily want to see TV ads; it’s that there is too much distraction when it comes to other technology, he says. That’s because many are also fiddling with smartphones in particular.
Poltrack says two-thirds of people who watch TV also watch a second screen.
Is this good news? CBS believes there could be opportunity. Poltrack says “advertising recall numbers are actually higher” now.
One should add growth of DVR penetration into U.S. TV homes has pretty much “stalled” -- around 49% of all U.S. TV homes. CBS didn’t offer up any reason for this, but one can surely make a educated guess: Consumers are using more video-on-demand platforms, as well as a host of Internet digital video platforms.
TV advertising avoidance has been around before smartphones, or even remote controls. But TV viewers can be lazy bunch. How many times do you find yourselves actually watching a TV commercial, not realizing you could be fast-forwarding it? It takes work to hit that little fast-forwarding button.
Now you know why the likes of Replay TV -- a TiVo competitor a decade ago -- was the subject of lawsuits by TV companies. Replay TV had a function that would automatically skip entire commercial breaks. Later, TV networks negotiated hard and fast with Dish Network around its AutoHop function, which did more or less the same thing: allowing consumers to record complete prime-time schedules and skip commercials.
The lesson: Give TV viewers much to do, and they’ll default to letting lots of content -- including advertising -- run its course.