Thinkbox plans joint PVR research with LBS

Thinkbox will work with the London Business School (LBS) on future studies into how users consume content on personal video recorders (PVRs), as the television body unveils qualitative research for the industry.

Thinkbox will work with the London Business School (LBS) on future studies into how users consume content on personal video recorders (PVRs), as the television body unveils qualitative research for the industry.

The research argues that “claimed”, rather than “actual” behaviour, exaggerates the threat of PVRs for advertisers, and shows 80% of viewing in PVR homes is still live. Backed up by early data from audience measurement body BARB, this contradicts predictions that the PVR would sound the death knell for the 30-second spot, says Patrick Barwise, professor of management and marketing at LBS.

“The sword that many people thought was hanging over the head of TV advertising turns out not to be so,” says Barwise – speaking exclusively to Marketing Week. “We now have evidence for the first time that this is not going to have a large effect over the next five or ten years. A year ago I couldn’t make that claim.”

The research has been funded jointly by Ofcom, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Initiative, and conducted by Barwise together with Sarah Pearson of Actual Customer Behaviour. Data showed that 85% of ads were viewed either live or time-shifted at normal speed. Two-thirds of ads in programming watched on PVRs were speeded up.

Researchers predict that time-shifted viewing of programmes could account for up to 15% of all viewing in ten years, with video-on-demand content adding a further 5%-10%.

TV Bites is a DVD that will be distributed regularly by Thinkbox to planners and advertisers, showcasing its studies of consumer viewing behaviour. Content will also be available on its website.

Thinkbox marketing director Elizabeth Kesses says that the DVD – the first in a series – is intended to be a planning aid for agencies. Thinkbox chairman Andy Barnes believes it will help address the “fundamental flaws” in people’s knowledge of the medium.

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