Who's still afraid of the DVR?

Dede Fitch

In 2006, we launched the Millward Brown Point of View series with "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad DVR?" by Nigel Hollis. In that POV, in the face of considerable concern that DVRs would enable viewers to avoid TV advertising and render it worthless, Nigel suggested that panic was uncalled for. DVRs, he said, would not lead to "the end of TV advertising as we know it."

Five years later, we stand by that Point of View. The impact of DVRs, though not inconsiderable, has not been of the magnitude that was feared. But that is not to say that the TV viewing environment remains unchanged. It has changed a great deal, but not solely because of DVRs. Other devices and technologies such as smartphones, tablets, social media, and TV viewing over the Internet have come to the fore, and we think these devices, working in concert with ever-decreasing attention spans, pose more substantial challenges to TV advertising than do DVRs.