One of the things I missed covering during the week when I was swamped was a press release from TiVo about timeshifting and the series premiers in October. Using data from their Stop||Watch service they made some interesting discoveries. For example, while it had been expected that more people would watch premiers live, in actuality they experienced up to 54% timeshifting. And cable saw a year-over-year increase in viewership.
Six of the seven new network series that premiered in October drew 50% or more of their audience on a timeshifted basis. The highest rated premier, ABC’s Life on Mars, had 52% timeshifted viewing. NBC’s My Own Worst Enemy had 54%, CBS’s Eleventh Hour and NBC’s Kath & Kim both 51%, and CBS’s The Ex List and CW’s Stylista both had 50%. And the news isn’t good for advertisers, as five of the seven premiers had 60% of more of their ads fast-forwarded or skipped, Life On Mars had a 65% skip rate, showing that ratings alone may not be the best measure of ad viewing. Though My Own Worst Enemy and Kath & Kim had the highest skip rates with 67% – not good for NBC.
Todd Juenger, Vice President & General Manager, TiVo Audience Research & Measurement, said, “We would expect to see this level of Timeshifting for an older show with an established fan base, and a new series premier to get most of its viewing Live. The fact that these new series got upwards of 50% of their viewing on a Timeshifted basis indicates that viewers are growing accustomed to recording programs and watching when they want – thereby increasing a program’s total viewership. However, Timeshifting audiences also have the ability to skip commercials, which impacts the efficacy of the ads and the economics of the program, and can have long term effects on how networks evaluate their success going forward.”
There is a lot more data and analysis in the press release, check it out.