July 12, 2005

Ninety pct of DVR users skip TV ads – new study

By Adam Pasick

LONDON (Reuters) - TV advertisers are facing a potential
disaster as more consumers buy digital video recorders (DVRs),
according to a new study, since about 90 percent of current
users fast-forward through ads.

The trends are even more foreboding among the 18 to
34-year-old demographic most coveted by marketers, with 97
percent saying they skip ads all or almost all of the time.

"This has always been advertisers' biggest fear," said
Sarah Wade, a London-based account manager for the French
market research firm Ipsos, which carried out a survey of 4,000
British TV households.

A previous study by media buying agency PHD found that
viewers fast-forwarded through about 77 percent of ads.

DVRs, offered by companies like Britain's BSkyB and
U.S.-based TiVo, save many hours of programs to a built-in hard
drive, allowing users to pause live TV and fast-forward through

The technology has yet to break through to the mainstream
but it is steadily building a base of enthusiastic users.
BSkyB, Britain's top pay-TV company, says about half of new
subscribers opt for its Sky+ DVR, and cable companies are
beginning to sell DVRs that are built into set-top boxes.

Only 6 percent of Britons own a DVR, according to the Ipsos
study, but 35 percent of those without are interested in buying