The media is not so happy with Stop||Watch results

Just a few days ago, TiVo released some public results from their Stop||Watch service. Those results have caused a bit of a furor in the industry press. The most alarmed article seems to be from Media Life Magazine, which seems to take TiVo’s news as dire.

Ratings just released by TiVo, the DVR-maker, suggest the falloff in ratings from program to commercial is much steeper. TiVo viewers are not only fast-forwarding through recorded commercials. They’re also simply turning off commercials when watching shows live in their original broadcast.

These dismaying findings come from TiVo’s StopWatch service, which tracks second-by-second viewing on 20,000 of its DVRs.

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  • Brian Purcell

    What do they mean by turning off commercials during live TV? If you’re watching live, how do you turn it off (without obviously turning the TV off, which obviously isn’t happening)? Do they mean people are changing the channel? I assumed Neilsen already knows the stats on that, especially during sweeps.

  • megazone

    I think it is bad phrasing by the author – a lot of people watch ‘LiveTV’ slightly delayed and skip forward through the ads. Or they pause during the ads, do other things, then resume and jump back into the show.

  • Brian Purcell

    Also, after reading the Media Life article, I have a dispute with its view that Nielsen’s ad ratings are flawed. It uses TiVo’s data to show that ad ratings are far lower than 7 percent dropoff estimated by Nielsen. There are far more Cable DVR’s out there than TiVo’s, and I would like to make an educated guess that TiVo users time-shift and FF commercials at a MUCH higher rate than Cable DVR users (based on the belief that TiVo users are more hardcore about those kinds of things). If Nielsen is using data from both TiVo and cable DVR users, I wouldn’t be surprised by the 7 percent estimate.