Online TV Viewers Don't Mind Ads
There is a common perception that people turn to online TV to avoid ads, but a new report indicates that viewers are actually more tolerant of ads when watching their favorite shows online.
The report, released today by tech analysts company comScore, Inc., suggests that online viewers may be willing to tolerate up to twice as many minutes of advertising per hour than what is currently being served.
"While some analysts have suggested that the shift to online video reflects a consumer desire to view fewer ads, our research suggests that in many cases online TV viewers actually have a higher tolerance for advertising messages than they are currently receiving," " said Tania Yuki, comScore director of online video and cross-platform products.
The report's results indicates that online advertising's "sweet spot" is between 6 and 7 minutes per hour, substantially higher than the approximately 4 minutes per hour that is currently packaged with programming .
The standard half-hour of network television contains eight minutes of commercials, or about 16 minutes of ads each hour.
comScore speculates that the ability to watch shows wherever and whenever a user wants rather than when it airs — sometimes called "time-shifting" — makes up for the annoyance of ads, and also the generally lower sound and video quality of online versus television content.
Program time shifting is most prevalent among younger TV viewers, comScore found, with only 35 percent of viewers age 18-24 indicating they watched episodes live.