The DVR threat: 2+2=5

NBC’s head of research Alan Wertzel (one of my favorite foils) is at it again. He’s now telling advertisers that, well, DVRs aren’t as much of a threat as good old fashioned clickers. Wayne Friedman writes for MediaDailyNews:

Wurtzel said the loss in commercial effectiveness was currently just under 7 percent in non-DVR homes, as compared to about 3 percent in DVR homes. The explanation focuses on old technology–regular TV remote devices. Television viewers have used TV remotes for years to avoid commercials–changing channels, muting, etc.–and TV remotes are in many more homes than DVR machines.
I love it how these guys bend everything to suit their immediate needs, in this case trying to convince advertisers that DVRs are actually good for network television and, therefore, good for advertisers. People are, after all, watching more programs due to these things, so Wertzel and his ilk need to come up with data that makes the case that, well, people have always been avoiding commercials.

You can’t make up stuff more entertaining than watching statistical analysts twist in the winds of change. Wertzel is the best; no lie.

Seriously, though, Jeff Jarvis has long said that the remote control was the biggest communications breakthrough of all time, because it put control into the hands of viewers. That disruption has spread far beyond clickers now, and it’s just humorous to watch the status quo try to convince the world that it really isn’t as bad as we think.


  1. Cameron Harper says

    I don’t know how we ever lived without TiVo, but I do sometimes find myself actully watching and focusing on SOME commercials more because of it.

    The best commercial producers have now figured out that they have only moments to get my attention and when you do, you better be good. (Much like a TV news director watching an audition tape)

    So, I find myself actually paying attention to really creative commercials. I’ll even back them up and look again or call my wife into the room to look… even though she has very little tolerance for this behavior. Of course any spot that is ordinary or doesn’t hit the mark, which is most of them, is promptly flushed by the fast foward button.

    In other words, sometimes I actually like commercials… sometimes even better than the show they’re in. Does this make me weird? Do I need therapy?

  2. I’m terribly sorry, Cameron, but you’re past therapy. May God have mercy on your soul.

  3. Have you seen the commercial about the guys sitting at Sonic, and when the driver goes to put a tater tot in his mouth, the other guy screams “Rejection!” and bats it out of his hand.. in commemoration of the NCAA Tournament? Now, THAT has been rewound and replayed numerous times! I love TiVo!

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