Slight Majority of Consumers Say They Record Live TV to Skip Commercials

March 4, 2014

CEA-Americans-Video-Content-Viewing-Habits-Mar2014Does everyone skip TV ads? Popular opinion would have it that they do, but that’s not quite the case, according to survey results from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Nevertheless, some 53% of respondents to the survey agreed that they record live video content in order to skip ads. (A lower percentage than found in a previous survey.) But even with that, TV commercials emerged as one of the top ways by which consumers said they discover new video content, suggesting that ads are  – to some extent – having their desired effect. In fact, TV ads are among the least ignored types of advertising, if recent survey results from Goo Technologies are to be trusted. And despite the concept of consumers fast-forwarding through all ads using their DVRs, the latest data from Nielsen indicates that Americans spend more than 4 hours with live TV per day on average, versus just 25 minutes per day with DVR playback. As for looking at mobile devices during ads? Only happens about one-third of the time.

So perhaps there’s a reason TV ads are still among the most influential, if not the most influential type of advertising.

In other results from the survey, some 79% of respondents said they watch traditional TV programming (from providers such as cable, satellite or fiber-to-the-home), while two-thirds watch video from DVD/Blu-ray discs, almost half from video streaming services, and 37% from paid streaming services.

The study also notes that while online video is more popular among youth (surprise!), traditional TV programming penetration is mostly consistent among age groups. In short, the conclusion is that “these emerging online services are being used in addition to, rather than instead of, traditional television programming.” That probably explains why multiple research sources are saying that online video content is beginning to closely resemble traditional TV. Essentially, it’s the content that viewers are interested in, and they’re largely agnostic as to the mechanism of its delivery, with traditional TV remaining the primary method.

Other Findings:

  • 77% of respondents own some digital video content, chiefly because they can access it from anywhere (37%) and because its easy to store (36%).
  • Laptops (52%) and desktop PCs (44%) are the preferred devices for watching streamed or downloaded video, followed by HDTVs (40%), smartphones (32%), tablets (31%) and gaming consoles (29%).
  • News and TV shows are the most frequently watched type of video content, with 58% and 55%, respectively, watching these types of content every day.

About the Data: The “Video Content Discovery and Purchasing Trends” report was designed and formulated by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). It represents the findings of a quantitative study administered via Internet web form to an online national sample of 1,001 U.S. adults.

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