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4 December 2012
The death of TV advertising at the hands of PVRs?

According to TAM Ireland, 49% of the 1.5million+ homes in Ireland have a PVR (or personal video recorder), which not only allows the viewer to record and pause live TV, but also to fast forward past content that isn’t of interest.  In half of our homes, we no longer have to ‘go put the kettle on’ or do something else to pass the time during the ad breaks.  Indeed, according to research recently conducted by GfK in Ireland, 85% of those with a PVR say that they prefer to watch programmes via the PVR precisely for the reason that they can skip through the adverts. So does this then mean that the three-quarters of a million Irish homes with PVRs are no longer exposed to TV advertising?

Actually no!

Our research, which was conducted in October 2012, found that, although half of those with PVRs say that they never watch the ad breaks, nearly three-quarters (73%) of PVR users claim that they do actually stop fast forwarding through the ad breaks at least on occasion, if they see an ad or a trailer that interests them. The challenge for advertisers is, therefore, to grab the viewer’s attention as they are fast forwarding and prompt them to stop, whether that’s through inventive creative content, or through the use of recognisable faces for endorsement.

We also found that 4 in 5 (82%) of those with PVRs also claim to stop fast forwarding through the ad break when they see the sponsorship clip or 'sting' that precedes a programme which is being sponsored. While the reason for most of that 82% stopping may be less to do with watching the sponsorship clip and more to do with ensuring they don’t miss any of the programme content, the fact remains that they are still being exposed to the sponsorship clip and its message.

A third piece of good news for advertisers and broadcasters alike from our research is that 1 in 4 of those with PVRS are actually watching more television overall.  Therefore, while they may be fast forwarding through more ad breaks, there are more opportunities than ever before to reach these viewers with attention-grabbing advertisements or programme sponsorship stings.

So instead of ‘killing off’ TV advertising, the increasing penetration of PVRs in Ireland is opening up new opportunities for advertisers, with creative, eye-catching and attention grabbing images most likely to provide that ‘call to pause’.



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Rita QuigleyResearch Manager