TV Set Usage Soars, Attention And Viewability Decline During COVID-19, Study Finds

Although TV set usage was way up following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, actual viewer "attention" and "viewability" didn’t follow the same path.

During the peak stay-at-home period -- from mid-March through the end of April, for daytime hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- viewer “attention” decreased by 3.7%, while the total tuning time that TV sets were on grew 77%. These results come from TVision, a TV research company that uses eye-tracking technology.

The study also notes that viewer engagement -- “viewability” -- decreased 1.5%. TV commercial wear-out occurred during this period. 

Viewer attention to COVID-19-related brand advertising over the first two-and-a-half months of the crisis decreased by 13% from March 1 through May 17. At the same time, “attention” to OTT programming increased 20%. 



TVision defined "ad viewability" as the metric measuring how effectively viewers are kept in the room while ads are onscreen --the percentage of all ad impressions in which a viewer was in the room for two or more seconds.

"Ad attention" is a metric that measures how effectively ads held viewers’ attention while they aired -- the percentage of all ad impressions in which the viewer was looking at the TV screen for two or more seconds.

Research for the total report came from 5,000 U.S. homes from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. TVision’s technology detects viewers in a room and what their eyes are looking at without personally identifying individual users.
1 comment about "TV Set Usage Soars, Attention And Viewability Decline During COVID-19, Study Finds".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 28, 2020 at 12:04 p.m.

    The likely explanation for this finding is that much of the increase in viewing came from people who normally would be at school or at the workplace for much of an average weekday. As these tend to be considerably younger than chronic stay-at-homes and younger viewers are somewhat less attentive to commercials then TVision's report merely reflects the changing composition of the audience during the COVID-19 crisis.

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