Although it doesn't come as much of a surprise, an independent survey* commissioned by Reachmedia has found that Kiwis are becoming skilled at avoiding advertising in new forms of media and are utilising technology to assist them.
Of the 1,000 New Zealanders surveyed between 24 June and 1 July 2014, 57 percent said they deliberately record television programmes to allow them to fast-forward through commercials.
Second-screening is also playing a significant role in ad avoidance, with 74 percent of respondents saying that they used their smartphones, tablets or laptops while ads were on air.
And modern technology doesn't carry the ad-avoiding blame entirely, as the study also showed that 85 percent of respondents admitted that they leave the room or change channels during commercials.
This trend also carries across to the radio channel, with 24 percent of respondents saying that those surveyed saying they use an internet radio service to avoid hearing radio commercials and an even more significant chunk of 55 percent said that they would switch to another station upon hearing radio advertisements.
In keeping with its reputation as a reviled form of advertising, pre-rolls recorded one of the highest avoidance rates, with 85 percent of respondents saying that they hit the skip button when watching online videos.
The chief executive of Reachmedia Greg Radford said that while advertising avoidance is nothing new in society, the implementation of technology in Kiwi consumer viewing strategies has become more widespread than expected.
“The research showed that New Zealand consumers are adopting more sophisticated behaviours when it comes to their consumption of broadcast media," he said in a statement about the results. "In particular we are seeing a broadcast audience which is able to utilise technology to avoid advertising – either by switching to a portable device or by programming a set top box so advertising can be bypassed."
According to a Reachmedia spokesperson, the study is "nationally representative in terms of income, location, age and a number of other demographics."
To ensure that the survey was only completed by those within the correct demographic groups, invitations were sent to each demographically representative group, and those that agreed to participate then completed a series of question online via the SSI opt-in consumer survey panel. The average survey length was around 16 minutes and 48 seconds.
*Note: the maximum margin of error for this sample is ± 2.53 percent (at 95 percet confidence).