Does What We Skip Affect What We Buy?

As anyone who owns a DVR can tell you, DVR-owners watch fewer ads. A three-year study from Information Resources Inc. confirms this obvious point, according to Ad Age, but goes a step further by suggesting that DVR-owners end up buying fewer new packaged goods.

They bought 5% fewer top brand products, and 20% fewer of all branded products in the study. If a brand spent a good chunk of its advertising budget outside television, however, the DVR-household bought the same amount as non-DVR households.

If a network promo ad airs in the first "commercial pod" spot - meaning the first commercial spot during a break - 60% of DVR-owners will watch it. Whether that is due to the timing of the promo spot - clicker-wranglers are likely to be slower to skip the first commercial - or to the compelling content of a promo spot is unclear.

But the study yielded a few more interesting behavioral tidbits about commercial-skippers. In the study, DVR-owners recorded 42% of everything they watched on CBS but only recorded 10% of everything watched on the Food Network - that implies that when there's nothing good to watch on the TiVo and nothing much else to watch on TV, DVR-owners would rather channel surf over to Food Network than CBS.

Another behavior tic: DVR-owners record 34% of everything that airs on Fridays, but only 15% of shows that air on Sunday. -Rachel Rosmarin