Viewers willing to watch more ads online: Turner research

Evidence shows that people will spend approximately the same amount of time watching episodes online

Programmers could add more ads to the online streams of shows than they did for television shows, a research conducted by Turner Broadcasting revealed on Monday, the New York Times reported.

"Regardless of the ad load, people will spend approximately the same amount of time watching episodes online," said Jack Wakshlag, the chief research officer for Turner Broadcasting, the parent of TV channels TNT and TBS.

Under the TV Everywhere concept, broadcasters such as Turner have recently started experimenting with uploading their shows to the internet for existing cable and satellite subscribers only.

To conduct the test of online viewers' behaviour, Turner randomly assigned three sets of anonymous visitors to tnt.tv and tbs.com to a specially-built video player.

The first set was shown about a minute of ads an episode, the second was shown 8 to 10 minutes of ads and the third was shown 16 to 20 minutes.

Viewers of 30-minute TBS sitcoms like "Meet the Browns" watched 40 per cent of the episode, including the ads, if there was one minute of ads and 37 per cent of the episode if there were 16 minutes of ads.

Viewers of hour-long TNT shows like "Memphis Beat" watched 59 per cent of the episode if there were one minute 15 seconds of ads, and 49 per cent of the episode if there was 20 minutes of ads.

The research highlighted that online TV viewers often do not watch an entire episode, just as they channel-surf while on the couch.