Study: Interruptions make TV shows more enjoyable


Consumers spend a lot of money on technology to help them skip television commercials, but new research to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests commercial interruptions make TV shows more enjoyable.

Guest: Jeff Galak, NYU’s Stern School of Business

5 Responses to “Study: Interruptions make TV shows more enjoyable”

  1. Joe B says:

    What a hoot – your guest has an interest in pushing commercials and happens to come up with the results that, despite what they think, people like commercial breaks – yeah,right. I just love it when the conclusion of a fight is stopped so I can learn about a swell sock cleaner. Yep. It’s always swell to come back from a commercial and see that I missed 2 football plays, too. Yep, I just loves them commercials…

    Uh, guess what, I’ll just keep zapping commercials, OK?

    The one system that is not a pain is – when the ad’s are 10 to 15 seconds and frequently funny or interesting. I absolutely choose those over a long trailer up front. The short ad’s do not distract and generally are not annoying.

    There was a picture joke book in the ’60’s that had one saying, “Russians have determined that fallout is good for you.”

    And the tobacco industry thinks smoking is good for you. And Future Tense thinks you enjoy commercials (even though you think otherwise)?? HA! That’s a good one, too!!

  2. Jon Gordon says:


    I wouldn’t exactly say the fellow I spoke to has an interest in promoting TV commercials. He’s an academic and a researcher.

    Also, did you miss the part where I got him to say it’s not the commercials that are beneficial, but merely the act of taking a break, and that a viewer cold produce the same effect by pausing, rewinding, etc. with his or her DVR?

    I understand and share your skepticism but I’m not sure you’re being entirely fair here.

  3. Patrick says:

    I agree with this guy – a short break every ten minutes or so is nice. You don’t necessarily have to watch commercials – you can always mute them, or pause if you have DVR. Since I usually watch TV with large groups of people, I enjoy having a chance to stop the show and discuss it with them.

    Of course, these friends don’t agree with me. They prefer to watch TV like it is a movie – in the dark and skipping commercials.

  4. Brian B - NYC says:

    This was a tech guy talking to a business guy, but neither one of them took into account the art of the TV show.

    Writers know that the shows they are creating will have commercials, and write around them. They design the show to build up to break, and make you want to come back after the break. But the reward of the return only happens if there is a return; there is no reward if there is no break.

    Writers are smart people and there is a heck of a lot of craft and reason to what they do – Conan O’Brien wrote for The Simpsons and he was Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in History and Literature.

    (P.S. – This is a great podcast – I listen regularly – Thank you!)

  5. Jon Gordon says:


    You make an excellent point. I wish I would have considered that during the interview.

    -Jon Gordon