The NYT reports that DVRs are saving TV shows by demonstrating that the audiences are watching. "Instead the playback device is offering some shows a lifeline — so much so that network programmers now factor in ratings a full week after a show’s scheduled appearance." And in today's WSJ, Ad Revenues are improving. "For the second consecutive year, marketers are poised to spend more money in advance on commercials for the coming TV season than they did a year earlier, driven in part by unusually high prices for last-minute commercials this spring, according to both buyers and sellers of TV advertising." Put the two articles together, and DVRs are bringing in larger audiences and advertisers are paying for them. Certainly opposite from the thought that DVRs would hurt the TV ad model.
Truth be told, households still watch ads, even on DVRs. Especially when the content of the ads break through the clutter to resonate with the audience watching. Catch them quickly with a hook and hands don't reach for the remote to fast forward through them. In addition, Tivo is working with advertisers to provide better data to improve ad performance. With its latest legal victory, Tivo has also been in the news. Should more cable companies consider including Tivo in their own DVR, viewers would actually appreciate a better search as well as viewing experience. DVRs are in the news and it seems TV has nothing to fear.