All I'm Sayin'
February 20, 2012|
Is it live or is it Memorex?
...is I thought I would begin by paying homage to a classic commercial slogan. It certainly had the most longevity of any of the audio recording companies but, that conversation is for another time.
The reason for it pertaining to this column is the method in which we watch our favorite shows and our overall viewing habits have been a bit altered in the past few years by that rectangular box that sits some where in the same proximity of our television sets...I, of course, am speaking about the DVR. Far more so than its now seemingly archaic predecessor, the VCR, the DVR not only gives us, the consumer, the ability to record our favorite shows, store dozens and dozens of hours worth of programming, fast forward and rewind in multiple speeds, sort and select, pause live programming (my favorite), and several other features but it's also taken ratings into an entire new realm that I suspect wasn't anticipated upon its conception. What do I mean by that, you ask? Prior to the DVR revolution ratings were simply tabulated by what was watched the night that a program aired. However, now that more households own a DVR than don't, and many of those household viewers record their favorite shows and watch them later, the ratings service giant Nielsen takes that into consideration. Take a look at this listing as provided by television programming expert Marc Berman of Media Insights -
The following ranking, taken from a week in early February, is in order of number of viewers added via DVR usage (with percent increase in parentheses):
Modern Family (ABC) - 13.11 to 17.90 million: +4.79 million (+36.5 percent)
The Mentalist (CBS) - 13.24 to 16.77 million: +3.53 million (+26.7 percent)
Hawaii Five-O (CBS) – 10.97 to 14.42 million: +3.45 million (+31.4 percent)
Two and a Half Men (CBS) – 16.18 to 19.37 million: +3.19 million (+19.7 percent)
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – 10.15 to 13.30 million: +3.15 million (+31.0 percent)
NCIS (CBS) – 19.73 to 22.88 million: +3.15 million (+16.0 percent)
Criminal Minds (CBS) – 12.97 to 16.10 million: +3.13 million (+24.1 percent)
Smash (NBC) – 11.44 to 14.52 million: +3.08 million (+26.9 percent) – series premiere
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – 15.19 to 18.22 million: +3.03 million (+19.9 percent)
Castle (ABC) – 10.65 to 13.64 million: +2.99 million (+28.1 percent)
Bones (Fox) – 8.91 to 11.90 million: +2.99 million (+33.6 percent)
CSI (CBS) – 11.57 to 14.53 million: +2.96 million (+25.6 percent)
Person of Interest (CBS) – 13.01 to 15.89 million: +2.88 million (+22.1 percent)
Glee (Fox) – 7.85 to 10.71 million: +2.86 million (+36.4 percent)
Alcatraz (Fox) – 8.90 to 11.71 million: +2.88 million (+31.6 percent)
American Idol - Thursday (Fox) – 17.68 to 20.46 million: +2.78 million (+15.7 percent)
New Girl (Fox) – 7.63 to 10.41 million: +2.78 million (+36.4 percent)
House (Fox) - 7.75 to 10.45 million: +2.70 million (+34.8 percent)
Blue Bloods (CBS) – 11.61 to 14.31 million: +2.70 million (+23.2 percent)
Body of Proof (ABC) – 8.81 to 11.51 million: +2.70 million (+36.6 percent)
American Idol - Wednesday (Fox) – 20.56 to 22.94 million: +2.38 million (+11.6 percent)
Once Upon a Time (ABC) – 10.48 to 13.16 million: +2.68 million (+25.6 percent)
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) – 15.79 to 18.45 million: +2.66 million (+16.8 percent)
Revenge (ABC) – 8.12 to 10.70 million: +2.58 million (+31.8 percent)
Looking at the first listing which represents the most viewers added via DVR usage, Modern Family, it shows that 13.11 million people watched that show the night it aired. Another 4.79 million watched that same program within 7 days of its original airing on their DVR which means 17.90 million were credited for watching that episode of Modern Family. This extra 4.79 million viewers have become as important to advertisers as the original 13.11 million. Why? Because they know that an additional 36.5% of viewers have the potential of seeing their product or service. It benefits ABC for obvious reasons that they can charge advertisers based on the 17.90 million viewers instead of a "mere" 13.11 million...and it just may translate into as many dollars as viewers. Using Modern Family again, as an example, it was recently noted in the NY Times that it is the "king of playback" adding an average of 3.1 million 18-49 year old viewers (a key demo for advertisers) to its live audience of 7.1 million 18-49 viewers AND the Feb. 15 episode of the comedy grew by 5.46 million total viewers to a total of 16.71 million with live-plus-seven-day DVR playback factored in, according to Nielsen, the largest viewership jump ever. ...that is an impressive piece of evidence to the power of the DVR.
You may be thinking that recording a program on your DVR would cut down on the possibility of seeing a commercial since we fast forward through the commercials, but I submit that we often pay as much or more attention to those commercials when they're zipping by at an increased speed. For example, if you see a snippet of something that catches your eye while fast forwarding - for instance, the new Target spot with the colorful dancers exiting the hot air balloon zips by and this morning you were thinking that you needed a certain item and that Target would be the perfect place to pick it up at a reasonable price - then maybe, just maybe you'll take more time looking at the ad than if you weren't currently in the market for that item. And, if you were watching the program live then, perhaps, you missed the spot due to being out of the room freshening your beverage. In a nutshell, you were forced to see the commercial while it zipped by whereas, otherwise, you could've easily missed it.
I would like to welcome Barnyard BBQ, Key West Tanning and a couple of St. Albans businesses - Maaco and Super Liner to the Hey It's Half Off (HIHO) family of merchants. If you haven't tried HIHO yet, it's quite simple. Go to www.heyitshalfoff.com, click on the drop down arrow, choose either Charleston or Huntington, and peruse the businesses. You can save a considerable amount from each.
Family Guy quote:
Peter Griffin: Brian, there's a message in my Alpha Bits. It says "OOOOOO".
Brian Griffin: Peter, those are Cheerios.
For daily TV talk, follow me on Twitter @paulneace.
...is All I'm Sayin'
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