DVRs Are Good For TV

TiVo Inc.

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I’ve always thought TV execs were idiots for not embracing DVRs. I bought the TiVo Series 2 when it first came out, and have had a DVR, usually a TiVo of some kind, ever since. And I can tell you unequivocally that I watch more TV with a DVR than I do without.

TV folks are worried about the commercials, of course. Rather, they’re worried that we’ll skip past them when we have a show recorded. But it turns out that most people actually don’t. I’ll admit that surprises me, as an avid commercial-skipper, if there is such a thing.

The DVR was going to kill television,“ said Andy Donchin, director of media investment for the ad agency Carat. "It hasn’t.”

The idea is that most people watch TV as a passive experience, which is true for me to the extent that I’m not actually interacting with it, but not to the point where I’m disengaged enough to not want to skip the beer ads. I always thought that DVRs would cause the industry to create new ways of getting their ads in front of us, not that the existing methods would turn out to still work well.

In any case, this is good news. Great news, even, for shows that are typically watched by a demographic that embraces DVRs. Heroes and Fringe, for example, have their ratings rise sharply when DVR viewership is added in. It’s about time that the outdated methods the industry uses to get its ratings numbers gets overhauled.