The Truth About How DVRs Affect Ad Viewing

Derek Eige

Derek Eige About The Author

February 12, 2020 at 7:30 AM

The Truth About How DVRs Affect Ad Viewing

When DVRs were first released, many advertisers feared that TV advertisements would be made obsolete. However, in the years since, it has become clear that people are still watching TV ads – even if they have DVRs. In fact, TV is still the go-to choice for mass-market advertising.

DVRs Aren't Killing TV Advertising

People's ability to watch TV shows at a time other than when it airs has changed the landscape, but not in the way that was originally feared. The biggest difference has been in tracking. Instead of results coming in one inclusive batch during and after a show airs, they come in over several days as people catch up on recorded episodes.

It's also important to note that many people who own DVRs actually prefer to watch TV in real-time. When they do, the ads cannot be skipped.

Nielsen Ratings Have Evolved

Nielsen has changed its tracking methods to keep up with the modernization of TV viewing options. The most relevant change here is that the company tracks viewing over several days, rather than just the day of a telecast. Because of this, advertisers need to check the company's reports in order to track their own results.

The ratings giant doesn't just rely on surveys to gather information. Instead, it uses proprietary electronic devices and software to capture all of the relevant data from those who agree to have their viewing monitored. This technology captures delayed DVD viewing, real-time viewing, streaming activity, and more. 

By using proprietary methods, Nielsen can differentiate between real-time viewing and DVR playbacks. It then provides the information to advertisers and others in a way that is understandable and actionable.

Working With a Media Company Can Help

One of the best ways to ensure that your advertising dollars will be well-utilized is to work with a media company. A trusted media partner will know when to recommend shows that are more-often watched in real time, such as sports and live events, so you can effectively advertise and see results.

A quality media company will be there for you from the start of your campaign until the end. By creating ads intended for DVR viewers as well as real-time TV watchers, you'll eliminate guesswork and stress. Your ad budget will also be utilized in the most efficient ways possible.

While DVRs have changed the nature of how viewers consume their television programs, media companies and advertisers have adapted to the changes. Through research and years of adapting to consumer habits, there are now ways to guarantee that your advertisements will still see success with DVRs in the mix.

Step-By-Step Visual Outline for Developing TV Ads that Get Results