Advertisers Slow to Adopt HD

NEEDHAM, MASS.: Advertisers aren’t wild about HD--at least according to fourth-quarter figures from Extreme Research. The group’s fourth-quarter report for last year indicated that just 13 percent of TV ads were in high-definition, down from 14 percent in 3Q10.

“The advertising industry as a whole didn't make a significant push towards HD adoption last quarter, but adoption in the retail and automotive markets surged,” said John Roland, CEO of Extreme Reach. “Additionally, the report confirms that the HD viewer experience can be inconsistent when it comes to commercial breaks, and shows how and why advertisers and broadcasters are affecting the degree of that inconsistency.”

Drilling down into categories revealed that automotive ads in hi-def increased by 49 percent in 4Q10. Those in the retail sector were up 17 percent. Advertisers generally preferred to have HD ads center cut for SD, and just 15 percent who created ads in high-def bothered with 5.1 audio.

Among TV stations, Extreme Reach said more than one-third of local broadcasters across the United States and Canada were accepting HD ads. (This corresponds roughly with a report released last May by the Radio-Television Digital News Association that around one-third of U.S. stations were doing local news in HD.) Local cable adoption stood at 58 percent; broadcast network, at 83 percent and cable network, 59 percent.

Extreme Reach said it analyzed data from more than 1300 television advertisers across 15 segments, 287 video production studios and content providers, and “nearly every commercial television and cable broadcast outlet in the United States and Canada.” The company’s sample comprised 142,000 SD and HD ads delivered between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010.