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Youngsters Skip DVR Ads Less Than Seniors 460

Posted by kdawson
from the thumb-cramps dept.
Dekortage writes "Analyzing DVR viewing research, Ad Age has noted something unexpected: older DVR users are more likely to skip ads than younger DVR users. The skew is particularly apparent among men: 50% of seniors skipping all the ads, but only 20% of teens do so. Women of any age group tend to be around 35%. Ad Age hypothesizes that younger viewers 'just pay attention to other media when the ads are on TV or, worse yet, perhaps the TV is just 'background music'... I always thought that ad skipping was a major benefit of DVRs. Do you skip all the ads?"
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Youngsters Skip DVR Ads Less Than Seniors

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  • by opencity (582224) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:15AM (#23399864) Homepage
    I barely watch tv and when I do the ads are the best part.
    well ... there's bbc world news
    • by Kpau (621891) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:51PM (#23406532)
      Disclosure: I am 50, I don't watch more than a few hours per week. I'll watch *entertaining* television ads. However, they stop being entertaining after the fifth or sixth viewing. When I see the *same* commercial 5 or 6 times in a two hour block, the advertzoids have lost my willingness to view their ad. Non-entertaining ads lose immediately. Shouting at me loses immediately. Gross repetition of the same ad loses immediately. Ads I'm really willing to watch are the ones that evolve or tell a story over a few chained commercials. I don't care if it costs them more - if they want me to watch it, they have to work harder. Frankly, I'd like to see fewer commercials per hour, or bundled at the hour marks -- and I'd be willing to tolerate product placement within a series like they used to do in the 1950s and 60s. Believe it or not that was less intrusive and actually more enticing to buy the product because you saw it used in context. (mmmmmm, Blammo's Evaporated Milk made these cookies scrumptious, don't you think, George?)
  • Ads? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elvum (9344) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:15AM (#23399866) Journal
  • by ludomancer (921940) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:17AM (#23399872)
    .. by not watching at all! This is trite, but I stopped watching TV specifically because of advertising. If I had a DVR, I would most definitely skip them, but from the few shows I've downloaded in the past I can see they're just putting the ads in the show itself now, so... Guess I'll keep not watching TV instead.

    I just really hate that everything in our society has to be about selling you something, or pushing something else into your view.
    • by teebob21 (947095) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:58AM (#23400080) Journal
      The last bit in your post made me think...so prepare for a little ramble... Is today's society really any different than in the past? Corporate sponsorship of such things as stadiums is relatively new, but every time I read an old newspaper (I'm talking Wild West to Great Depression) I am fascinated by the blatant advertising for snake oil remedies and get-rich-quick gold rush schemes. It was right out there on the front page, too. Are we really any different today in America than the rowdy Chinese and Indian markets of yesterday? Perhaps the only difference is that these ads come faceless, in print or in video, rather than a hard-up vendor pushing his wares on the market corner.

      To that end, why are there so many ads? Well, ads simply *work*. If they didn't, there would be no marketing departments and no billboards, no jingles on the radio, no Super Bowl extravaganza commericials.

      I also think ad dollars (and the inevitable ads they pay for) save the average American a lot of money each year. How, you might say? Ad sales finance ventures that may otherwise be unprofitable or unsustainable. When Google became more than just the new kid on the block, and needed to finance a "real" business, they turned to ad sales for revenue. Broadcast TV is free to the public only because advertisers pay for airtime. I cannot imagine a scenario where ABC/NBC/CBS could stay in business broadcasting for free, without the life support of ad sales. Is this a bad thing? I don't think so. Even if 13 minutes of every half hour program is advertising, I get to watch an episode of [your favorite show] for free, courtesy of Tide or Tampax or Ford or whichever ad was on while I was digging in the fridge for some mustard on my sandwich. Unfortunately, those broadcasters (and most cable networks) are now addicted to this revenue and try to find more new places to sell ad space, like in-show interstitials.

      Does some advertising go to far? Certainly. There's no need for annoying interstitials during a show, especially when it covers up an important part of the action. Do ad dollars shape the world we see today? Of course. Some of our most American retreats are named for advertising. Wrigley Field for example...possibly the first stadium named for an advertiser. It's a historic name now, but we're all weary of Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T Wireless/Minute Maid Park and the Nokia Sugar Bowl. (That said, I would have hated to see Candlestick Park in San Francisco fade away into the shadows over something simple like the naming rights...my all time favorite ballpark, and I'm not even from California)

      Ads can be annoying and overdone, but they are a product of a free capitalistic society. Considering the available societal alternatives (China, Myanmar, and Cuba come to mind), I'll take a few ads and nearly constant product placement. Besides, I didn't buy a Tivo for nothing!
      • by Moridineas (213502) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:30AM (#23400184) Journal

        The last bit in your post made me think...so prepare for a little ramble... Is today's society really any different than in the past? Corporate sponsorship of such things as stadiums is relatively new, but every time I read an old newspaper (I'm talking Wild West to Great Depression) I am fascinated by the blatant advertising for snake oil remedies and get-rich-quick gold rush schemes
        You make a really excellent point, and you're exactly right! The poster you replied to just doesn't get it!

        I would actually go beyond what you said--you said that for instance, corporate sponsorship of stadiums is a new thing. Maybe corporate, but in years past it would have been an individual. Think of in the US have many buildings (universities, etc) are named after people who gave money to build them--Carnegie, Rockefeller, etc.

        Going back even farther in history, Pompeii gives countless examples of graffiti that showed politics then was no different than today--slanderous and brutal! Same for advertisements, they were everywhere.
      • by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:51AM (#23400248) Homepage
        Yes we're different. Not perhaps, different than a MARKET earlier, the purpose of a market is, afterall, to SELL stuff. But different in the pervasiveness. This has many reasons. One is a large selection of goods that are really quite equivalent to the buyer, where marketing tries to create incentive to select brand A over brand B on reasons other than price alone when really the differences are debatable. Another is the rising distance (physical and otherwise) between producer and consumer. You don't -know- the guy growing your potatoes anymore. And so mass-marketing has taken over from reputation and word-of-mouth. The worst is, though, that it is EVERYWHERE. Walk down a street in Berlin, and the Brandenburger Tor, one of the most famous landmarks there is is under renovation, and covered with a GIGANTIC telecom-banner. Your shopping-cart has advertising on the handlebar. So does the fuel-pistol-thing when you refuel. All the products you buy are packaged in advertising. TV has more comercials than programming, radio ain't much better. The Internet is filled with banner-ads and stupid flash-crap. Things wheren't always like this. And I'm not convinced we're better off for it. I'm not in favour of banning advertising or anything. But I *am* in favour of having a reasoned debate about under just which rules we want it. And I don't think "anything goes" is it. There is such a thing as visual pollution.
      • by pla (258480) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:27AM (#23400392) Journal
        I also think ad dollars (and the inevitable ads they pay for) save the average American a lot of money each year. How, you might say? Ad sales finance ventures that may otherwise be unprofitable or unsustainable.

        Then such ventures should fail. I have no problem with that.

        Advertising makes products that I do want cost more, simple as that. Without spending money trying to convince people who don't want a product that they need it anyway, companies would have a lower overhead and thus could sell for less. Of course, they would sell less overall, and only companies with legitimately useful products would thrive (with the occasional freak exception, of course), but I don't view either of those as necessarily a "bad" thing.

        Look at our society, look at the current economic crisis, look at Bratz dolls, and tell me we don't have an outright disease of buying crap we don't need. We have a problem, and we can thank advertising for hefty chunk of that.


        Ads can be annoying and overdone, but they are a product of a free capitalistic society.

        Just as you can have dinner without gorging yourself to the point of bursting; Just as you can drink without passing out drunk; You can have capitalism without encouraging people to spend more than they have on crap they don't need.
        • by Jellybob (597204) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:48AM (#23400500) Journal

          You can have capitalism without encouraging people to spend more than they have on crap they don't need.


          I think you've hit the nail on the head there.

          The problem isn't that people are buying things, it's that they're buying things that are truly unneccesary, and in some cases actually harmful.

          Taking the example of Bratz dolls, if I had children, I wouldn't even consider buying them. As far as I can see, they're teaching children that being succesful is the same as being famous. For any reason, no matter how degrading.

          It appears that society agrees though. The person named as the most popular role model in the UK for teenage girls recently was Amy Winehouse. Which leads me to think I should probably leave the country, before another generation of kids grow up who believe they're entitled to fame just because they exist, instead of having to work for it. After all, if Amy can do it just by getting wasted in front of cameras now and again, why shouldn't they?
          • by somersault (912633) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @06:29AM (#23400634) Homepage Journal

            The person named as the most popular role model in the UK for teenage girls recently was Amy Winehouse
            That is insane. So teenage girls want to be drug/alcohol fuelled nervous wrecks with their partner in jail (and from a quick google I see he almost died in freaking prison from a drugs overdose, how on earth do they manage to get that stuff in there?)? Amy has a spectacular voice, but I can't see anything else attractive about her life. Of course I'm a mid twenties male, not a teenage girl, so maybe my priorities are a little off. Who voted for her to be the 'most popular role model'? I dont think I'll ever understand these crazy women-folk.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            "Taking the example of Bratz dolls, if I had children, I wouldn't even consider buying them. As far as I can see, they're teaching children that being succesful is the same as being famous. For any reason, no matter how degrading."

            Wow. Just wow.

            And I suppose that you never had anything like Ninja Turtle toys growing up ? I remember when they first became popular that parents everywhere were worried that the only thing TMNT taught children was how to be violent. Same reason toy guns were banned at my grade s
            • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:14AM (#23401652)
              Simply put, people are much less likely to copy simulated violence because there are a thousand voices saying "No, that's wrong, you can't do that". These bratz dolls are more destructive because they're encouraging behaviour that isn't actively discouraged by other media, therefore more people are going to hear it and not hear anything else saying that it's wrong. It's a little like how alcohol poisons more people than arsenic - the solution is teaching kids that both are poisons, even if one doesn't seem to be.
        • by DrLang21 (900992) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @08:01AM (#23401022)

          Advertising makes products that I do want cost more
          There's a double edged sword here. Without advertising, new product awareness takes an extremely long time to mature. You are relying entirely on word-of-mouth from those who just happened to walk by and notice it in a store. This means volume will be extremely low and cost per item relatively high. The consequence of this is that the manufacturer must charge more for the product. It always costs a lot less per unit to make 1,000,000 of an item than to make 1,000 of an item. Advertising done appropriately spreads product awareness rapidly, informing those who would want the product that it exists, thereby increasing the product market and lowering the price. The problem with advertising only comes when advertising is done in excess and causes the prices to start to climb again.
        • by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @08:09AM (#23401076) Journal

          Then such ventures should fail.
          Why?

          Advertising makes products that I do want cost more, simple as that.
          No, woefully bad advertising makes products cost more, and if a company's advertising fits that description, they can usually tell by the lethargic sales. If the advertising is effective enough to recoup costs, it will pay for itself through increased profits. Without it, those increased profits those shareholders demand must come from your pockets. You've got it completely backwards.

          Without spending money trying to convince people who don't want a product that they need it anyway, companies would have a lower overhead and thus could sell for less. Of course, they would sell less overall, and only companies with legitimately useful products would thrive (with the occasional freak exception, of course), but I don't view either of those as necessarily a "bad" thing.
          Wrong again. Companies wouldn't thrive, period. People would be completely in the dark about different options and choices, and would inevitably go to their inefficiently run local shop, which would almost always have a monopoly on whatever you're looking for. Products that can't be made locally would be done by big businesses, but at reduced inefficiency, and consequently everything would become a lot more expensive.

          Advertising is one of the most important tools of modern business. If you deny businesses the right to advertise, we'll have far worse problems than those catchy jingles.
        • Not really (Score:4, Insightful)

          by tkrotchko (124118) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @08:34AM (#23401256) Homepage
          "companies would have a lower overhead and thus could sell for less."

          Unless there is perfect competition, the overhead a company has is only marginally related to the selling price.

          If I can sell a widget for $100, that's what I'll ask for it, regardless of cost. If the market is buying my widgets as quickly as I can produce them, I would be stupid to reduce the price, even as efficiencies reduce costs to produce.

          It's the same incorrect argument that people make that "shoplifting costs everyone more money". No, it doesn't. Shoplifting costs the store owner money, and is morally wrong. But the shop owner can't raise prices because the store next door (who has a more efficient loss prevention program) will undercut their prices.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            It's the same incorrect argument that people make that "shoplifting costs everyone more money". No, it doesn't. Shoplifting costs the store owner money, and is morally wrong. But the shop owner can't raise prices because the store next door (who has a more efficient loss prevention program) will undercut their prices.

            And yet both stores are paying for the loss prevention program - and passing that cost on to the consumer. (That being said, I agree with what you're saying as relates to the topic at hand ...)

      • by Ihlosi (895663) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:12AM (#23400798)
        To that end, why are there so many ads? Well, ads simply *work*.



        Ads work on the majority. On me, they usually have the opposite effect (not going to buy stuff that's advertised in particularly annoying/stupid/psychologically exploitive ways).



        Ads can be annoying and overdone, but they are a product of a free capitalistic society.



        Ads take away the consumers freedom to chose the better product (yes - ads _work_ that way on many people. There are subconscious effects that are very, very hard to suppress. Most people can't do this at all, which is one of the reasons why ads work so well), shifting the focus on the product that is marketed best. Quite possibly, ads are what turns customers into consumers.



        If you came up with a formula for a soda that tastes better than the established alternatives while being healthier, do you think it'd fly off the shelves ? Nope. It's not Coke or Pepsi. You'd first have to fight a marketing battle against companies whose marketing budget is probably a few orders of magnitude larger than what your company is worth. And they'd fight your better product with tooth and claw - not by making their products better, but by stepping up their marketing efforts.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by fireboy1919 (257783)
          Ads work on the majority. On me, they usually have the opposite effect (not going to buy stuff that's advertised in particularly annoying/stupid/psychologically exploitive ways).
          And they'd fight your better product with tooth and claw - not by making their products better, but by stepping up their marketing efforts.


          Well, let me talk about the kinds of advertising that works on me - none of which do any of the things you're talking about.

          Its not like all ads are the same, and the reason for having them is no
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Ihlosi (895663)
            Its not like all ads are the same, and the reason for having them is not always the same. Sometimes it's as simple as "your life would be easier if you had one of these, but you've never seen them." That's the best case for advertising. In that case, it'll work well.

            Well, kind of. More often than not this kind of advertising tries to sell stuff that's about as superfluous as a fifth wheel mounted on the roof of your car. My basement is full of junk that I bought when I still believed in this kind of ad. Ma

        • by rickwood (450707) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @08:52AM (#23401416)
          It's interesting that this came up, because I've been thinking about this subject quite a bit in the last week or so. Interesting enough, in fact, that I'll undo my mods to reply in the affirmative.

          Manners demand that I preface the following by saying that I am not trying to brag, I am trying to provide some bona fides. I'm a smart guy with a strong engineer's mind. I read a newspaper, watch a television news program, and browse dozens of web feeds every day. My library contains more than a thousand volumes. I spend more time than the average person on introspection and self-analysis. Additionally, I'm extremely stubborn. The surest way to get me to not do something is to try to browbeat me into doing it.

          Like many of you, I didn't think advertising worked on me. Yet a couple of weeks ago I inexplicably found myself spending half an hour at marines.com looking into enlistment. That the Marines are heavily advertised during adult swim, which I often have on while coding, can't be a coincidence.

          World-class advertisers are very good at what they do. They literally have it down to a science. Even if you can use your intellect to protect yourself from the overt message, there's still the more subtle psychological cues and even sheer repetition if nothing else works. It wasn't that long ago the Marines couldn't get enough recruits. The AP reported this week that they've met 142% of their recruiting goal [google.com] for April. That's not likely to be a coincidence either.
      • by Digital Vomit (891734) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:13AM (#23400804) Homepage Journal

        Considering the available societal alternatives (China, Myanmar, and Cuba come to mind), I'll take a few ads and nearly constant product placement.

        I almost believed you weren't a shill for some advertising or marketing agency until I read that hilarious line. "If we didn't have ads plastered everywhere, we'd have COMMUNISM!!!1!"

        Ads are not so much a product of a free capitalist society as they are a symptom of a culture that values money over things like time, aesthetics, and integrity.

      • by malsdavis (542216) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:38AM (#23400916)
        "Ads can be annoying and overdone, but they are a product of a free capitalistic society. Considering the available societal alternatives (China, Myanmar, and Cuba come to mind), I'll take a few ads and nearly constant product placement. Besides, I didn't buy a Tivo for nothing!"

        It's not an either/or situation. It's totally feasible to have a free capitalistic society without unregulated advertising. In fact, unregulated advertising hurts capitalism.

        A central pillar of capitalism (from Adam Smith's original work) is that people buy things they need or desire. If people are tricked into buying things they don't need or desire (whether via deception, lies, force or just clever advertising), then classical capitalist theory breaks down and the efficiency which makes capitalism great, goes out the window!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bombula (670389)
        why are there so many ads? Well, ads simply *work*. If they didn't, there would be no marketing departments and no billboards, no jingles on the radio, no Super Bowl extravaganza commericials.

        It's a tempting logical leap to make, but I suspect this assumption is at least partly false.

        There are two kinds of advertising: ads that inform, and ads that create brand-awareness. TV and radio spots for Rogaine or a 3-day sale at your local hardware store are informative - they give you information about somethin

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dwater (72834)

        Ads can be annoying and overdone, but they are a product of a free capitalistic society. Considering the available societal alternatives (China, Myanmar, and Cuba come to mind), I'll take a few ads and nearly constant product placement. Besides, I didn't buy a Tivo for nothing!

        Er, are you trying to claim that China has no ads? If so, you're very wrong. It's every bit as annoying as in the US (I used to live there before I moved to Beijing), and more so because I can't understand what they're saying (mostly).

        I can't speak for the other countries you listed...

  • by Nutria (679911) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:18AM (#23399878)
    ... just get captivated by the high-energy movement and noise of commercials. At least that's how my 8yo & 10yo act. I'm constantly yelling (from the next room) "Skip over the commercials!!!".

  • Television? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:18AM (#23399882)
    I thought tvrss.net and Miro kind of made that irrelevant these days.

  • by Bwerf (106435) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:18AM (#23399888)
    I don't know if anyone was confused by the abbreviation, but anyway, DVR seems to be Digital Video Recorder [wikipedia.org]. Maybe it's just because I'm from sweden. Anyway, hope it helps someone.
    • by LanMan04 (790429) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @08:06AM (#23401054)

      I don't know if anyone was confused by the abbreviation, but anyway, DVR seems to be Digital Video Recorder. Maybe it's just because I'm from sweden. Anyway, hope it helps someone.
      I believe the Swedish acronym is BBB. Then again, BBB is the Swedish acronym for just about anything; ask that famous chef of theirs.
  • women (Score:3, Funny)

    by William Robinson (875390) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:20AM (#23399896)

    Women of any age group tend to be around 35%.

    That proves, women never grow :P

  • Brand Loyalty (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ixitar (153040) *
    It might also be that the older we get the more we don't change brands. If a person drinks Coke then he/she will more than likely not drink Pepsi or another brand. This is more prevalent as we age. One would then start to skip ads for Coke, Pepsi and any other cola drink, because it is not going to change your mind.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tuoqui (1091447)
      Actually buying things is part of it. The other part is making you feel good about your purchases after the fact and maintaining that 'brand loyalty'... So if you're sitting on the couch watching the Hockey Game with your favorite beer in your hand and the commercial for it comes on, dont you feel better about buying your beer?
  • ... my DVR doesn't support it. They've put in a skip but it does about five minutes, or ten, or thirty (seems to be a percentage of the total) and it's right next to the button which leaps ahead to live, deleting all the paused recording in the process.

    You've just reminded me why I prefer DVDs.
  • by Mike1024 (184871) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:22AM (#23399906)

    I always thought that ad skipping was a major benefit of DVRs. Do you skip all the ads?
    If you assume most people who pay for DVRs want to skip ads, one would expect DVR buyers to skip ads.

    Their teenage children may not feel as strongly about adverts because children of DVR buyers, unlike DVR buyers themselves, have not self-selected for wanting to skip ads.

    Jusy my $0.02.
    • by aztektum (170569) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:41AM (#23399992)
      Pretty much the first thing that popped into my head as well.

      Younger people are more into popular culture, which is heavily marketed on tele. They have more of a propensity to stay in touch. "Older people" are going to be far more "set" in their way and less influenced by ads.

      Hence, as the parent suggests, their desire to purchase a DVR

  • I tend to watch the ads while my wife skips them...

    The difference? I don't watch much TV so many of the ads are new to me... So I don't mind watching them. I find it more frustrating hunting for the start of the show that watching them, unless they are really long or really bad and annoying.

    And if the ad's interesting enough, I rewind and watch it twice :)

    GrpA
  • TiVo (Score:5, Informative)

    by riceboy50 (631755) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:23AM (#23399912)
    I love the TiVo easter egg for enabling 30-second skip [bigmarv.net]. I don't know how I lived without it before. I've heard of Myth and other software DVRs stripping out commercials altogether, but I enjoy the TiVo service.
  • Background (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:23AM (#23399914)
    I've wondered if music, despite our need for it, is just a passive enjoyment source. What I mean is that it takes no energy at all to simply have background music play while we are actively engaged in something else. Through this, the value of music is diminished to the point of zero because in the end anything will do.

    Contrast this with TV or movies which require a much more concentrated effort to enjoy. While there are certainly some TV shows which you can tune out for half an hour and not miss anything, in general watching the boobtube means imposing a restriction on your activities for that time period. Because of this, the value of TV and visual media is perceived higher than music.

    With the advent of on-demand television/movies, the value of TV and movies drops considerably lower. While still higher than zero due to the inability to produce shows of any quality immediately (as would be possible with music throughhumming to yourself or singing in the shower), the value is lower due to the loss of time restriction. Whereas you would have to assign a timeslot to watch TV, now you can pick it up any time, even to the extent that video playback was just background noise.

    What's more, once viewers stop paying attention to anything they aren't really interested in, advertisers are going to start clamoring for both more technical restrictions built into the device and more in-line advertising (through advertisement bars and in-show placements).

    The future is going to suck for TV.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:24AM (#23399916)
    Without my DVR I wouldn't be able to watch TV!

    Also, here in the UK, they seem to have started 'turning the volume up' on adverts to really grab your attention. That, the way they treat you as mindless consumers and the whole bullshit science of 'health food' and 'beauty' products make me really appreciate my DVR.
  • The nifty thing about DVRs is you watch when you want what you want.

    So how would they know what people do other than what they say they do?

    Self report is a pretty lame statistical tool.
  • by TheMiddleRoad (1153113) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:28AM (#23399938)
    Thanks to scene releases, I get no standalone ads at all. Of course I do get the in-show ads, like the pushing of iTunes, Coke, and Fords, on American Idol.
  • Solution (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tx (96709) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:29AM (#23399948) Journal
    Advertisers should slow their commercials down so that the play at the right speed when we're doing a 32x fast forward. Think about it - everybody wins. The TV companies sell more ad space, because a 5min break only gives 9 seconds of ad playback time. We the viewers get really concise, focussed ads. And the advertisers will actually get their ads watched the whole way through. I am a fricking genius, am I not!
  • ...every moment is too precious to be wasted on advertising.
  • by joeflies (529536) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:31AM (#23399954)
    between channel surfing and ad skipping?

    Just based on personal observation, I notice most young people don't skip ads, but rather start watching another program. Their hyper short-term attention spans drive them to find new content instead of finishing the content they were originally watching. A teen will watch 10 minutes of 5 different shows in an hour, without having to use the skip button on the dvr at all.

    Older people, with greater attention spans, want to continue the program they were watching, and thus use the technology to skip the ads in order to watch the entire program.
    • by Neoprofin (871029) <neoprofin AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:00AM (#23400090)
      As a young person who, thankfully, doesn't really watch TV on a regular basis I can tell you the reasoning for this is part of why I don't.

      Say you're watching a show and an ad comes on, you've got a good three minutes, at least, before your show comes back. So you find something else good to watch until it goes to commercial. Then you switch back, but wait, show #1 is still on commercial, find show #3. When it goes to commercial #1 is probably back, if not maybe number #2. The way shows repeat themselves over and over again and the increasing length of commercial breaks means you can just about watch two or three shows at a time if you're intent on doing so.

      Finding three good shows to skip between, that's the challenge. I can rarely find one, which may explain why catching 50 minutes of one show or 10 minutes of five different ones all comes out about the same in the end.
  • by davmoo (63521) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:43AM (#23399998)
    The only button on my TiVo remote with noticeable wear on it is the skip forward button.
  • by Dieppe (668614) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:45AM (#23400008) Homepage
    Hell, I skip the articles about skipping the ads.

  • Some ads are pretty funny. So I do get some enjoyment of watching them. But the fact remains, that I have never bought something just because I saw it on tv. So watch or don't watch, it's all the same to me.
  • Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rts008 (812749) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:59AM (#23400084) Journal
    When I first started paying attention to TV, the commercials were between the half hour shows, or one commercial break (a word from our sponsors was the term used) halfway through an hour long show.
    Then it went to commercials between the half hour shows, with one commercial halfway through at 15 minutes. An hour show would have the commercials between, and then every 20 minutes.
    Then it went from two commercials between shows, and then one ever 15 minutes.
    Then two every 15 minutes.
    Then two every 10 minutes.
    When I finally could not take anymore, and just quit watching TV altogether about 5 years ago, it was 3-4 commercials every 4-5 minutes. I tried recording a 30 minute show-pausing during the commercials, and ended up with 18 minutes of show...the other 12 minutes were commercials...over one third of the 30 minute show was commercials, not the show.

    And those insidious 'infomercials'- 30 minute commercials WITH commercials...WTF?!?!?!

    Enough already!
    So yeah, I enjoyed being able to watch a show with only one or two SHORT commercial breaks, but I cannot enjoy the way it is now where the commercial breaks seem to be longer than the show breaks in between them.

    To me it seems to have done a complete 180. It started as a way for advertisers to use a show to get a chance to show an ad or two and provide the entertainment draw to increase the audience to view those couple of ads.
    Now the show is only an vehicle to drown you in commercials, the show be damned.

    So now, with a DVR (with say a 200GB HDD), you're filling up over 70GB's of it with commercials, and during playback, you end up having to either hold on to the remote, or pick it up every 4 minutes to fast forward through the commercials.

    No wonder most kids today have short attention spans, or just do something else and leave the TV playing in the background.

    This sounds like a study done back in the early 1990's (given an $86,000 USD grant) to find out if people preferred warm or cold showers, and why. Duh!

    • by aXis100 (690904)
      I know what you mean.

      Fortunately in Australia the government broadcaster (ABC) puts out some pretty good content and even does digital multi-channeling, all without commercial advertising. There are some internal ABC promotional bits, but thankfully they're between shows.

      The rest of the time I stick to downloaded series where someone else had cut out the ads for me. :)
      • by rts008 (812749)
        Sounds like a much better deal than we have here (USA).

        I really miss the www.tv-links.co.uk site.

        I went back to reading. My imagination is much better at providing the imagery while reading than most show/movie graphics.
        And I don't need a fast-forward button!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by IBBoard (1128019)
      That's why I liked watching things like Star Trek on the BBC (used to be BBC 2 at 6pm). You didn't get any adverts and so the show was 45 minutes long. Follow it up by a couple of episodes of Simpsons and you're done by 7:30pm instead of 8pm :)

      Ditto for Formula One and other sport - much better on the BBC when it doesn't get interrupted by adverts (football - the real one - they chat for a few minutes of the 15 minute break because of adverts and Formula One they have to put adverts during the race).

      I don't
  • It's simple... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kylegordon (159137) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:02AM (#23400100) Homepage
    Old folks know the value of time. Teens just love to waste time, until they realise how important it is.
  • moral of the story (Score:3, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:02AM (#23400104)
    make good ads that aren't annoying.
  • I watch little TV - mostly Futurama/Colbert Report on Comedy Central and some History/Discovery Channel. Nothing else.

    When I record something, I skip the ads -- but I usually make a mental note of the advertising and the brand being advertised. Not for any particular reason or obligation, but I think it's because I'm still focused on the show rather having zoned out earlier at the start of an advertising break.

    If an ad is particularly entertaining, I even back up and watch/rewatch it though:)
  • by Loplin (1037544) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:07AM (#23400112)
    As a young person(21) with DVR in my room, I have to say that I don't always skip the ads.

    Most often I am watching tv live, and I can only fast forward through something that has either already been aired and recorded, or is ondemand. Fortunately, the DVR will record two channels at once; either the one or two channels I specify, or the last channel I was at and the current channel I am at. This lets me watch two channels back and forth.

    Sometimes I have the tv on as background, or am only somewhat paying attention to it. The second most common reason for not skipping, for me(aside from watching live), is that I simply forget that I can fast forward! I frequently wake up from some kind of mindless daze in the middle of a commercial and realize... "oh, WTF am I doing?!", then start fast forwarding. This can even happen more than once or twice in the very same program.
  • by SeaFox (739806) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:08AM (#23400118)

    The skew is particularly apparent among men: 50% of seniors skipping all the ads, but only 20% of teens do so.

    Because the seniors realize they haven't got much time left to watch ads? [ducking]
  • the major benefit of DVRs was being able to record sans tape.
  • I'd guess that 1/2 the time I watch DVR'd TV, I watch through the ads simply from being so accustomed to the pacing of commercial breaks, that it's not a nuisance to watch them during my favorite shows.

    The exceptions are shows like Meet the Press where the last EIGHT minutes is a huge commercial break.

  • ....don't skip ads as much, was found to be a matter of not being old and experienced enough to know better.

  • Non-DVR owner (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ledow (319597) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:46AM (#23400228) Homepage
    I don't have a DVR but I think I can explain this quite simply. I don't buy a TV to watch ads. Myself, being an old fart, just wants to watch the highlighted programs that I know I will like. I no longer want to "try" watching much unless it really grabs my interest. By flooding me with ads, the TV companies have made it almost impossible to get me interested in any new series that I might want to watch. I'm more likely to read about it in a paper/online or pick up on it via word of mouth once it's been established for about two or three series. Thus, I have a tendency to totally skip all ads for anything.

    If I was a kid today, I wouldn't see the point in TV at all. It's all just ads. When I was younger, there were a handful of ads that, even back then, I used as a convenient break in my programs to use the bathroom, make a drink etc. But now there's nothing of interest to them, and if they manually skipped them all they'd never get anything done. They are actually doing what the TV companies would fear most - they are learning to completely ignore ads in all media because they are saturated with them from an early age in all media. That's a good skill for them to have, I say. Thus, they can leave them playing and it makes little difference.

    Myself and my wife gave up on broadcast TV about five years ago. By that I mean that the TV is now just a display device - we watch DVD's (and even still videos) and we play games on it all the time. But that's pretty much it. We have a satellite subscription on the lowest paid rate because then we get the "old programs" channels and things like Discovery but we're even considering giving that up because it's no longer of much value to us. We watch a "new" program about once a year, if that. But if I stumble across a favourite, I'll watch it if I'm in the mood.

    The chances are that we only watch maybe one or two half-hour programs a night now and only about three or four nights a week unless we are working hard. That's WAY down on our previous rates. Most of the programs we do watch are re-runs that we know we are going to enjoy (although they are being slowly ruined by being edited for broadcasting during the day and then repeated with those same edits during the evening - so we "jar" on the gaps because we know the programs well enough to know something "naughty" was cut out, even though it's way past most people's bedtime). We have the remote on hand to mute all the adverts (because of the "let's raise advert volume levels" stupidity) and wait for the channel banner until we turn it back on. In the gap, we read, make phonecalls or prepare food. A lot of the time we just switch the thing off or, if our interest was peaked by a favourite program being on but it being yet another repeat of that episode we've watched a thousand times, what we will do is dig out our "complete set" DVD and choose a better episode of the same series.

    Broadcast TV is slowly dying under the weight of the ads, for which the good programming has given way - it has been for years. They are poor quality (especially the ones that seem US-based when broadcast to a UK audience - the Cillit Bang man really needs a volume-reduction operation and the "US advert with dubbed fake UK voices" is just too grating when it's every other advert), uninteresting, not well targetted, over-used, over-frequent, and too forced. And the programs that they are replacing are becoming more like adverts every day. Even the bloody movies are adverts now (the bit in "I Robot" about the trainers really annoyed me in an otherwise very enjoyable film).

    I can remember a time when I was younger, when a Saturday night was a non-stop run of fantastic programs, some old, some new and some which even then were 20-year-old repeats but it didn't show that badly - that made you stay in front of the TV all evening. The example that my wife likes to use is Tony Hancock (although we're both far too young to remember it the first time around, that's our sort of humour and type of era/program
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      'm seriously waiting for the first music CD to come out with adverts between each track. It's got to happen eventually and if it doesn't, it'll only be the premature death of the CD that would stop it. Would you read a book where every fifth page was a full page colour advert?

      I don't know about ads on CD's (if you consider Britney Spheres and her ilk, I'd say the entire CD is one long marketing jingle), but they're putting all manner of ads in the theaters. I give trailers a pass, I love them when they're well-done, gives a good preview of what's coming up. But fucking coke ads, cell phones, etc? I paid my $8 for high def marketing? No thank you, sir. Bittorrent to the rescue.

      As for ads in books, that used to be done in the 80's. If it was a paperback of a movie, there would be

  • Ad Age hypothesizes that younger viewers 'just pay attention to other media when the ads are on TV or, worse yet, perhaps the TV is just "background music"...'

    How was this an unexpected result? People have always used advert slots to get up for a drink, walk the dog, visit the loo and so on. Younger viewers simply have more distractions (friends, choirs) and more gadgets (mobiles, computers, consoles) that might need attention, or could provide the necessary distraction during the interruption.

    And using tel

  • absolute numbers? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tom (822) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:00AM (#23400298) Homepage Journal
    I'd rather suggest that it's a selection bias. Among young people, TV is a lot less common than among older people, who often use it instead of social contacts (who are either dead or old and not very mobile themselves).

    Lots of young people don't even have a TV anymore. It's definitely a pattern. Far from a majority, but while in our parents generation a TV simply was part of every home, in our generation you're not looked at funny anymore when you say you don't have a TV. It's not a big deal, because it's fairly common.

    So, the study group self-selects. Those who have a DVR have a TV as well. First link. Those who have a TV aren't simply "everyone", but those who more or less decided to have a TV. Second link. Why do you decide to get a TV in an age where half of the program is ads? Because you don't care much about that. Third link. If you don't care much about ads, you don't expend much energy to skip them. And that's what the study has shown. Any correlation to age probably goes more through this self-selection than through any other age-related attribute.

  • ...but only because I only watch channels without ads in the first place.
  • by SKPhoton (683703) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:14AM (#23400360) Homepage

    or, worse yet, perhaps the TV is just "background music"
    Worse? Advertisers love that. Their messages then seep right into the listener's subconscious unimpeded!
  • by Capt James McCarthy (860294) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @06:35AM (#23400664) Journal
    I would think that older folks know that yes, it is only a 3 minute commercial. And to a youngster, what's three minutes. The older person has done the math:

    watching 2 hours of TV a day (avaraged, could be light for some, heavy for others)
    Guesstimating 10 minutes per hour of commercials
    You are now up to 20 minutes per day on commercials
    Or 7300 minutes per year
    Or over a 30 year period of watching Ads (again, some may be hitting 60 years+ of TV, 30 just seemed to be good round number)
    So, 30 years of ads means you'll have potentially wasted (perspective based) 3650 hours on ads.

    Or to put it another way, you would have to work 2 years (40 hr work week - 10 holidays) to make up for that time.
  • by TractorBarry (788340) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:12AM (#23400796) Homepage
    I just don't watch TV to any great extent. If I do then when the ads come on I either mute the volume, switch channels or lose interest, go off and do something else.

    I am simply not going to sit there for 5 minutes listening to inane jingles advertising tampons, crap loans, household cleaning products and cars.

    When I (rarely) watch a DVD then they've either been ad stripped by the uploader :) or I strip the ads myself before I watch it. And now that pressed DVDs come with "non skippable" ads (yeah right) I've mostly stopped buying them.

    If I'm interested in buying something I go to great lengths to find out about the available products before I make an informed choice as to what I want to buy.

    Sorry I'm just not interested in advertising.

  • by zuki (845560) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:32AM (#23400892) Journal
    As an old foggy and ad-hater, although we pay around $60 a month for cable in our residence for our family's benefit, I seldom if ever watch anything at all, as I much prefer to wait and download the stuff I like later (even weeks or months later) totally commercial-free, or buy the DVD if I really like it that much.

    But when thinking more about it, the part I am actually not sure that I get anymore is that we are paying almost $800 a year for the privilege to watch advertising-sponsored shows. We actually are paying to have the chance to watch ads.... Increasingly, this part doesn't make much sense to me, as it was a business model that was clearly designed for over-the-air free viewing.

    All the same, in observing my family's viewing patterns, I have noticed that the younger ones tend to accept the advertising content much more naturally, almost as if it was an integral part of the programming. They also clearly identify the cutting-edge bits in ads which incorporate mind-blowing special effects, or revel in their witty humor, and to them it rates just as high as the programs themselves.

    As for the real benefits of DVR's, they seem to still clearly be first and foremost their time-shifting abilities. When they get home after work or school, many people are just too passive or exhausted to bother dealing with hitting the 'Forward' button repeatedly.

    In the end, just like vegans, there is a minority of people out there who are violently and religiously against any ads; but the huge majority doesn't care at all, it's just a minor inconvenience to them, and this further carries over into how they watch the DVR recordings they've made.

    I would find it most interesting to know what these patterns of ad skipping become when it's automated, as with Myth TV.

    As an aside, I would also love to have the option of watching HD programming in real time with no ads whatsoever. How much would this cost? Why isn't it widely offered yet?

    Z.
  • DVR? Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Randall311 (866824) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:44AM (#23400938) Homepage
    I just use BitTorrent. I have a client that broadcatches my favorite shows from RSS feeds. They are always in matroska format 720p (half hour shows run about 500 MB, hour longs about 1 GB). I have a cron job that runs every 15 minutes detecting if a torrent has finished downloading and I am seeding. If it has, then the file is unrared, extracted from it's mkv format container, audio gets converted from AC3 -> 6 channel PCM -> 6 channel AAC, video is kept as is (H.264), then it is remuxed into mp4 format and served up to my media server (uShare). Then the file automatically shows up in my media server when I turn on the PS3 (I have a Perl script for all this). This whole process takes from 20 mins to 2 hours for the torrent download, then 10-15 minutes for the file conversion. The result is ad-free beautiful 720p shows that I can watch anytime. I thought this was the Slashdot way! Who needs a DVR? All you need are seeders... Seed plz!

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