Study: First Ad Pod Has Highest Tune Away

Advertisers paying a premium for the first position in ad pods may want to rethink that strategy.

A new Collaborative Alliance study of live commercial viewing based on second-by-second set-top-box data shows the first pod position has the highest tune away of all commercials in a pod. ”It’s an interesting dilemma,” said Joe Abruzzo, evp and director of research for MPG.

Abruzzo is a member of the Collaborative Alliance Set Top Box Think Tank, which analyzed live national TV data from Kantar Media’s DIRECTView STB service for a Carnival Cruise Lines schedule that aired for two weeks in January. ”If we were paying by real audience, the first position would cost less. But using average commercial minute [Nielsen’s C3], it’s a higher rate.”

Other findings were even more intuitive. The most engaged commercial audiences are in prime time with an average tune away of just over 3 percent. The highest rated programs also have low tune away, about 2.5 percent. Weekday mornings, on the other hand, when people are getting ready for work, had the highest tune away at 4.5 percent.

“The data gives us a higher resolution of commercial viewing,” said Abruzzo. “It could definitely impact the way we buy TV.”