Over at MediaBizBloggers, TiVo’s Vice President of Audience Insights, Greg DePalma, talks about the DVR habit. It is a short post, but I found it interesting. He talks about the power of habits; how we tend to develop habits while young and then keep them throughout our lives. And this ties into TiVo’s business in that younger users have been quicker to embrace DVRs than older users, as well as being more likely to use the power of the DVR more fully – such as skipping ads.
Younger people have adopted the DVR a lot faster than the baby boomers. A perfect example is the CW network, which has 44% less live viewing during primetime than CBS. CBS skews toward an older viewer (with programs like 60 Minutes), who tends to watch more shows live – all because of habit. My father records PGA Tour golf events and when he plays them from his recorded list he sits through the commercials without fast-forwarding. Is he lazy? Charles Duhigg might argue his behavior is related to habit. In contrast, the younger viewer watching Gossip Girl on the CW is in the habit of recording his/her favorite TV show and speeding through the commercials.
It made me think about the implications over time, as newer generations grow up with the DVR, streaming video, etc. What habits and expectations will they have? Will they even be willing to tolerate advertising in their content? Or will they be habitualized to skip over ads or avoid ad-driven content entirely? What new business models will work with the new audiences coming up? Check out the full post.
Also at MediaBizBloggers, Alex Petrilli, senior manager of audience research at TiVo, talks about a potentially surprising finding from TiVo viewing data. TiVo data relating to viewing of movie ads seems to be a fairly strong predictor of future box office performance. In other words, if users stop and watch the ad, the movie will do well in the box office. But the more users who skip through the ad without watching it, the worse the film will perform.
During the past year TiVo has been studying box office performances in relation to the fast-forward rates of movie spots – and the correlation between the two is undeniable. Fast-forward rate is simply the percent a spot is skipped during live plus seven days of time-shifted viewing. On average the fast-forward rates for movie spots, which are traditionally some of the most popular commercials on television, range from 12-17%.
We first took notice of this correlation in September of 2011 when the latest “can’t miss” Sarah Jessica Parker film I Don’t Know How She Does It was set to open. The fast-forward rate almost jumped out of our TiVo Stop||Watch portal with a 20.4% rate. This was unusually high for a theatrical release. Not surprisingly, the box office followed suit opening at #6 for the weekend of September 17, 2011, scrounging up $4.4 million. The Avengers amassed a total of $4.4 million on a Tuesday afternoon… in Des Moines.
Fast-forward rate can also work the other way too and reveal a hit. A successful fast-forward rate will drop below 12%. Two recent examples are The Hunger Games which scored an 11.8% fast-forward rate in its initial broadcast campaign and The Avengers delivering a 10.3% fast-forward rate. Although expectations were high for these films there are no guarantees.
Of course, no system is perfect. It seems that children’s films and horror films don’t follow the same patterns, for example. Children’s film’s ads tend to run during children’s programming, and they don’t fast-forward ads. I’m not sure about horror films – perhaps people skip the ads because they’re scary? Or do more people watch the ads but then not see the film because it is scary? Either way, these’s more info in the full post, so check it out.