For the relatively few Canadians who use a PVR to view programs in playback mode and fast forward through commercials, roughly half of them stop to watch TV ads that are of interest to them, according to a July 2011 survey conducted on behalf of TVB by BBM Analytics. The survey, which polled 1,000 people, also found that the vast majority of those who fast forward commercials report awareness of the advertisers in the ads they are skipping.

In Canada, almost all weekly viewing is in real time (as opposed to playback viewing of previously PVR-recorded programming), allowing for full commercial exposure. According to BBM Canada, Adults 18+ watch 29.6 average weekly hours of television. Of this total, the average weekly hours of live viewing is 28.4, while the average weekly hours of playback viewing is just 1.2.

For the small percentage of people who don’t watch their television live, the survey revealed that when fast forwarding during PVR playback, 45.7% of adults 18+ say they stop to watch commercials that are of interest to them. It was even higher for those aged 18-49. The main reasons for stopping to watch a commercial during playback for adults 18+ was that they found the commercial entertaining and they were interested in the product.

In addition, the survey found that when fast forwarding or skipping through commercials, more than two thirds of adults 18+ confirmed that they are aware of the advertisers. This was even higher for the 18-49 demographics.

The results of this survey confirm the negligible impact of PVR technology on the potential of television commercial exposure. This study also confirms that the art of targeted placement of commercials, and the art of crafting appealing and engaging television creative is more important than ever.

 Audience data provided by BBM Canada.