Time Shift Viewing

The official source of television audience measurement, OzTAM has recently made adjustments to the television ratings panel to incorporate homes with Personal Video Recorders (PVRs). PVRs such as Foxtel IQ and TiVo have made it easier for viewers to watch what they want; changing their TV habits from ‘appointment to view’ to ‘TV to fit into my daily routine.’ These recent advances in video recording and storage technology have dramatically affected the way we watch television.

What is Time Shift Viewing? (TSV)
Time Shift Viewing is the ability to record programs for later viewing. PVRs such as TiVo allow users to capture more than 100 hours of video to an internal hard drive. In effect these devices are computers attached to a TV.

The Numbers
The new measure system called Consolidated Ratings combines both ‘Live’ and ‘Playback’ viewings. (See charts below) The change to the system reflects the 25 percent of Metro homes and 17 percent of Regional homes that now have PVR devices.

Research from ThinkTV shows that 50 percent of PVR viewers in Australia are fast-forwarding through the ads as well as 70 percent of total US households. Therefore the implications for commercial networks are huge as their previous business model is being challenged. From the recent ratings, Channel Ten has experienced an increase viewership of four percent, this is due to shows being recorded and watched at a later date. However total reach of commercials has reduced as the research shows that half of PVR households are fast-forwarding the ads. Commercial networks are, as a result having to bolster their advertising revenue streams by focusing on multi-platform distributions. For example, Ten describes how The Biggest Loser sponsor Yoplait appears through "on-set use of the product" and an "extensive online campaign", as opposed to ads that appear only in commercial breaks.

The media landscape is changing and the move to Consolidated Ratings system simply reflects the way people are now consuming and engaging with TV. Time shifting is slowly removing the traditional television-advertising model, from ‘appointment to view’ to a ‘when I want to view’ model. Only a quarter of Australian households have PVRS to date, so there’s no need to change overnight. However as PVR penetration increases commercial networks will need to further develop other advertising revenue streams.