Older DVR Owners Are More Likely to Skip All Ads

Mike Vorhaus on Digital Communications

By Published on .

Since upfront season is upon us, let's take a look at people's attitudes toward ad skipping.

Approximately 30% of online Americans, ages 12 to 64, own or subscribe to a TiVo or a DVR service from their cable or satellite company. And of course, we assume that everyone with one of those devices is skipping all their TV ads all the time. But that isn't true.

Mike Vorhaus
Photo: Stephanie Diani
Mike Vorhaus is senior VP-managing director of new media and strategy for Frank N. Magid Associates.
When asked about their ad-skipping tendencies, people report quite a bit of diversity in the percentage of ads they skip. One surprising finding? Older Americans are more likely to skip ads all of the time. When asked whether they skip ads 100% of the time, 52% of men ages 55 to 64 said they do. By comparison, only 21% of males ages 12 to 17 report skipping ads 100% of the time.

Many people might assume that young men and women are the heaviest ad skippers, given that this behavior requires the use of a newer technology. Perhaps one explanation of the results is that the older men are very focused on their TV viewing, while the younger people may well be multitasking while watching TV: texting, instant messaging, surfing the web and playing a game (or two). In that case, who needs ad skipping? They just pay attention to other media when the ads are on TV or, worse yet, perhaps the TV is just "background music" for the younger demos.
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