SOURCE: Integrated Media Measurement Inc.

Integrated Media Measurement Inc.

February 24, 2009 14:12 ET

New Report Shows DVR Users Biggest Viewers of Online Television Programming

Findings Offer Opportunities for Advertisers Looking to Reach Ad-Skipping DVR Audiences

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwire - February 24, 2009) - As much as Tivo and the DVR brought temporal liberation to television viewers everywhere, so too did it introduce fear and uncertainty to television networks who previously relied on mandatory commercials to generate advertising revenue, and to advertisers seeking to broadcast their marketing messages to the masses. Commercial skipping quickly became a selling point of digital video recording hardware, turning the ad/marketing community upside down and scrambling for alternative solutions to reach television viewers.

A new study released today by Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI), a leading provider of consumer behavior and audience exposure data to media companies and advertisers, overwhelmingly shows that DVR users are the highest consumers of online primetime television content. The report demonstrates that, because commercial advertising generally cannot be eliminated from online primetime television programming, this represents a huge opportunity for advertisers to reach audiences who would otherwise be skipping over their broadcast commercials, as well as an opportunity for the television networks to recoup some of the advertising revenue they are losing due to new technologies such as the DVR.

"During the past year, there has been much debate about the perils of making television programming available via the Internet," said Amanda Welsh, head of research for Integrated Media Measurement Inc. "While some have speculated or feared that online accessibility would cannibalize television audiences, our data shows that the affinity of DVR users to view television episodes online offers advertisers new opportunities to recapture a desirable audience that had been slipping away."

IMMI examined the consumption of a range of primetime programming by 1400 panelists for one month and noted whenever a panelist watched a program as it aired, via DVR or by going online. When visits to all of the programs over the month were aggregated, the number of people who went online to watch television programming at some point during the month was modest among viewers who otherwise only watch television as it is aired. In contrast, the number of online viewers increases dramatically among those who also watch television using a DVR. Viewers who watch television programs using a DVR are much more likely to visit a network Web site to watch an episode there.

Of the people who watched primetime programming both online and on a DVR during the month, 35 percent watched four or more episodes online, compared with 15 percent for people who watched primetime programming both online and on live television. Similarly, of the people who watched primetime programming both online and on a DVR, 30 percent went online only once, compared with 57 percent for people who watched primetime programming both online and on live television.

"Rather than simply cannibalizing audiences as has been feared, offering content online presents a huge opportunity for television content providers and advertisers to reach elusive ad-avoiding audiences and to achieve higher engagement with them," said Welsh.

The study was implemented through a special research panel built by IMMI to capture Internet as well as television and radio consumption. IMMI provides panel members with a mobile phone, asking them to carry it with them wherever they go. The mobile phone is equipped with a technology that creates digital signatures of all the audio media (television, radio and movies) to which it has been exposed. IMMI can determine viewing audiences, as well as certain types of consumer behavior based on a timeline of when the media was viewed or heard.

Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI) is the developer of an end-to-end media measurement system that links media exposure to consumer action. Using a mobile-phone-based digital monitoring system, IMMI tracks almost all media 24/7 and helps businesses evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. IMMI is based in San Mateo, Calif. More information is available at

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