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Big surprise: People don't watch commercials

TiVo has reported that people are skipping through commercials during the most popular, Emmy-winning television shows.

The availability of instant digital downloads from services like iTunes, Amazon, or Netflix has made it convenient for me watch TV shows on my time, without the commercials. Isn't it obvious? I choose when to watch a show and I save about 15 minutes worth of useless advertising.

Similarly, one might use a DVR to record shows and watch them at a later time, with the liberty of fast-forwarding through ads. Although there are those who don't mind commercials, most would probably skip them. So it's not surprising that TiVo reported "nearly all of the television shows that won 2009 Emmys showed higher levels of ad-skipping than the averages for their respective genres." The one exception: "30 Rock."

NBC broadcasts commercials during "30 Rock" that have tactfully cast its very own Tina Fey, resulting in a fluid show-to-commercial transition. I've seen Bravo use a similar strategy, placing a micro clip of the show in between commercials, forcing me to sit through ads while I wait to see NeNe and Kim in another wig-pulling, stiletto chucking cat fight ("The Real Housewives" is my guilty pleasure).

This report seems silly--would anyone sit through commercials if they didn't have to? Some ads are just nonsense (one more Ped-Egg commercial and I might throw up). Even when I watch live TV, I switch to mute, or load Facebook and Twitter to kill time. Nielsen has confirmed that others share my habit, as it found that a fair amount of people are watching TV and surfing the Net simultaneously.

TiVo's report isn't a shock to me, and perhaps networks and advertisers will take it as a hint: it's time to consider new marketing techniques. Better yet, get rid of commercials altogether!

Until then, those of you who watch live television and would like to skip through commercials might want to check out GeekSugar's "How to: Skip ads with a standard remote control."