The Impact of Time-Shifting on TV Consumption and Ad Viewership

Management Science (Forthcoming)

32 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2016 Last revised: 10 Mar 2018

Rodrigo Belo

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Pedro Ferreira

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management; Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Engineering and Public Policy

Miguel Godinho de Matos

School of Business and Economics, Católica-Lisbon; Carnegie Mellon University

Filipa Reis

Catholic University of Portugal (UCP)

Date Written: January 15, 2018

Abstract

In this paper we study the impact of time-shifting on TV consumption and ad viewership. We analyze the results of a field experiment in which a random sample of ”triple-play” households were given a set of premium TV channels broadcasting popular movies and TV shows without commercial breaks. A random subset of these households were given access to these channels with time-shifting (automated cloud recording for later viewing or rewinding of broadcasted programs), while the remainder were not. This design allowed us to identify the effects of time-shifting on TV consumption. On average, we found that receiving access to the channels with time-shifting increased total TV consumption because it increased time-shifted viewership while leaving live viewership unchanged. The increase in the live viewership of these channels was similar to the reduction in the live viewership of the originally available channels, resulting in a net zero effect on live viewership. It appears that time-shifting does not change the concentration of live viewership, but it does increase the concentration of total TV viewership, because it is used disproportionately to watch the most popular programs. Finally, we found that time-shifting does not change the likelihood of skipping ads during live viewership, suggesting that households do not use time-shifting to strategically avoid ads.

Keywords: TV, TSTV, DVR, TIVO, Randomized Experiment, Media

Suggested Citation

Belo, Rodrigo and Ferreira, Pedro and Godinho de Matos, Miguel and Reis, Filipa, The Impact of Time-Shifting on TV Consumption and Ad Viewership (January 15, 2018). Management Science (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2854704 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2854704

Rodrigo Belo

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
PO Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rsm.nl/people/rodrigo-belo/

Pedro Ferreira

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Engineering and Public Policy ( email )

Baker Hall 129
5000 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

Miguel Godinho de Matos (Contact Author)

School of Business and Economics, Católica-Lisbon ( email )

Palma de Cima
Lisbon, Lisboa 1649-023
Portugal

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

Filipa Reis

Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) ( email )

Palma de Cima
Lisboa, 1649-023
Portugal

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