The DVR is underrated. It can do just about everything except make wine. It even allows the user to SKIP (THROUGH) TV COMMERCIALS!
Yet, DVR penetration of U.S. homes is starting to level off, and we predict won’t cross the 50% threshold without some major disruption (technology, pricing, etc.). In addition…although oddly there is no reputable, recent data…we do know ad-skipping by DVR users is nowhere close to 100%.
Some media pundits are now throwing the future of DVRs into the “cord cutting” mix. After all, they posit, if you don’t need your cable company, you don’t need a box and – presto – no DVR.
Whether they are cord cutters are not, there is no question that the demand for online consumption of video programming (in addition to videos of dogs on skateboards) is currently insatiable. But a funny thing happened on the way to the online viewing forum.
Just like on TV, the advertising solution for online video is - * drumroll * - online video. Often the same commercials you see on TV, simply shipped over to an online ad trafficker.
Unlike the DVR experience, you cannot skip online video ads. Lairig Marketing has touched on the topic of faux “completion rates” before. Whether pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll, all eyes (!!!) are on the data that show whether or not the user bailed out during the advertisement.
We already know the insanity of clicking on a link on The Weather Channel – e.g., LIGHTNING STRIKE BLOWS OFF MAN’S HEAD ! – and having to “watch” a 30-second TV ad before the 17-second video plays. Anyone who willingly complies with this sort of scenario on a continuous basis is an imbecile.
But as more and more long-form programming comes online (more Hulu, TV Everywhere, etc.), including on iPads and smartphones, how will viewers weigh the trade-off? Will they “watch” full 30-second spots every five to seven minutes…THAT THEY CANNOT SKIP ?
Will advertisers then push too far, and load in 60-second spots? Or perhaps interrupt programs more frequently? Imagine watching a hockey game online some future day, where an ad rolls every time there is a stoppage of play. Imagine watching The Big Bang Theory with ads playing after every change of scene.