A+E study: Pay-TV subscribers are fine with disabled fast-forwarding on VOD

In a positive sign for pay-TV programmers and operators trying to monetize video-on-demand, a study commissioned by A+E Networks found that disabled fast-forwarding on VOD viewing does not negatively affect the viewer experience.

Hired to execute the test, research company MediaScience closely monitored 350 VOD watchers, measuring biometric responses such as facial movements and conducting verbal surveys.

Not surprisingly, the study found that the impact of advertising improved dramatically when viewers weren't able to skip through the commercials, with viewer recall increasing more than 50 percent.

However, the study also found that disabled fast-forwarding had no adverse affects on viewer satisfaction. In fact, in some cases, viewers were even happier, A+E said, because they weren't inadvertently skipping past the programming in their efforts to circumvent commercials.

"Until now, there has been a lot of uncertainty about the potential tradeoffs associated with fast forward disabling," said Julya Fridman, A+E Networks VP of multiplatform and distribution analytics. "Now, with the benefit of this research, we're confident that it represents a win-win proposition for advertisers, programmers and distributors alike."

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