Canstar survey shows big chunk of TV watchers are ad dodgers

As the digital TV switchover begins rolling out in New Zealand, the latest Canstar Blue survey on television viewing, ownership and purchasing habits has coughed up a bit of bad news for TV advertisers, with more than three-quarters of the 587 respondents saying they avoided watching ads and 31 percent recording TV and fast-forwarding through them.

Adding to the advertisers’ woes, an increasing number of those surveyed were choosing to watch their favourite shows online, with a fifth of respondents watching more programmes online than on their TV.

Canstar New Zealand’s national manager Derek Bonnar says new technology and services have completely changed the way household interact with their televisions.

“How we watch television is changing. While viewing hours aren’t changing much, dodging advertisements appears to be a bit of a national pastime,” he says. “Online or on-demand content is proving popular too, especially with younger audiences. Nearly 20 percent overall said they watch more content online than on television, but this rose to 35 percent of people aged between 18 and 29.”

In fact, a quarter of Gen Y-ers use their TV more for gaming than watching shows, which clearly presents a challenge to the advertising industry and media owners. 

In saying this, however, television advertising revenue has continued to rise in recent years, overtaking newspapers for the first time this year, so it’s still proving popular. 

Despite what may be seen as a move away from traditional interactions with TVs, the survey also found a surge in television sales before the digital switchover, which began on the West Coast and Gisborne last week.

Last year’s Rugby World Cup and the intense retail price competition were seen as reasons why more than 40 percent of those surveyed had three or more TVs in their house.

Despite the surge in TV sales, not everyone does their homework before buying. Nearly a third in the survey said they did no research before purchasing their new flat screen, with no discernible difference between male and female purchasers, says Bonnar.

“Our advice to consumers is to do some homework before you venture to the shops. Deals can vary between retailers, so it always pays to check prices and terms ahead of time.”

The Canstar Blue survey asked respondents who had purchased a television to rate their brand in five categories: Value for money, Performance, Ease of use, Warranty and service and Overall satisfaction. And Panasonic took out the award for overall satisfaction for the second year in a row. 

 “Not only has Panasonic got the most satisfied customers overall, notching up back-to-back wins, it also received 5 star ratings across the board.”

Other brands rated in the survey included Samsung, Sony and LG.

Key points: 

  • 77% avoid watching advertisements
  • 31% MY SKY shows and fast forward through ads 
  • 19% watch more content online than on TV
  • 24% of Gen Y use TV more for gaming
  • >3 TV households passes 40% mark
  • 87% ready for the switch to digital TV

Demographic breakdowns

Respondents who say they watch more content online than on TV

Respondents who say they avoid ads as much as possible

Respondents who say they MySky shows and fast-forward ads

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