“Not cool bro…!” TiVo® Spoilers Behavior Survey 2015: Spoilers Strike Again

 In Audience Research, TiVo, TiVo Audience Research, Uncategorized

So back in June, we published a blog post about Game of Thrones and World Blood Donor Day. Shame on me for not keeping up with the show on a weekly basis, but I didn’t realize that my own work would defile the penultimate episode of season five with its spoilers. Fine. Whatever. I still had episode 10 to look forward to.

Or did I?

The next week rolls around. Double the shame on me for making the same mistake and not watching the final episode right away. I was sitting at my cube. I was minding my own business. When, all of a sudden, out of nowhere come two coworkers who happily decide to discuss in excruciatingly thorough detail their in-depth analyses of the season finale.

Panic ensued.

I feebly attempted to drown out their venomous words with tone-deaf song lyrics consisting of “la la la.” My hands were occupied as they frantically scrambled to find my earbuds, so my shoulders had to suffice as earmuffs. I was finally able to get my earbuds locked and loaded in my ears and proceeded to destroy my eardrums with blasted dubstep. Mission success.

In its annual TiVo Spoilers Behavior Survey, TiVo Research allows victims of spoilers to stand in solidarity together. Over 10,000 TiVo subscribers shared insight in their fight against spoilers, and here’s the down-low on their struggles:

Sports, Deaths and Endings: The Three-Headed Spoiler Dragon

In our survey, spoilers were defined as prematurely learning something about a sporting event, TV show or movie. Ironically, survey participants ranked the top three worst spoilers in that order:  22 percent said the worst spoiler is learning the results of a sporting event; 17 percent a character death on a TV show; and 12 percent a movie ending.

A big deal, or maybe not a big deal

Whereas 30 percent of respondents get upset by spoilers, another 35 percent say people get way too sensitive about spoilers.

Spoiler Sources and Prevention

When asked to rank the most common sources of spoilers, the deadly trio of friends, acquaintances and coworkers took third place at 16 percent, with Facebook ranking second at 20 percent. The biggest offender, for the second year in a row, is news headlines on the Internet at 22 percent.

Now that you know where spoilers are most likely to appear, feel free to join the 71 percent of participants who take preventative measures to avoid spoilers at all costs. Naturally, the top three methods for circumventing spoilers include begging friends not to spoil, avoiding social media/news sites, and making every effort to watch the program ASAP.

Spoiler Alert: What do McDreamy, Jon Snow and Don Draper have in common?

Their fates have all been spoiled in one way or another. The majority of Mad Men fans lucked out, with only 8 percent learning about Don Draper’s transcendent Coca-Cola® moment before the finale. Game of Thrones fans that don’t follow the books were not so lucky, as 22 percent knew how jabby the Night’s Watch would be with Jon Snow. However, Grey’s Anatomy fans got the worst of it. It came as no surprise to 44 percent of respondents that McDreamy would die.

Additional Key Findings

  • Thirty-one percent sometimes read spoilers on purpose, prior to watching a show.
  • Forty-one percent admit to having accidentally spoiled something for someone else and to feeling bad about it.
  • Thankfully, a lowly 3 percent have deliberately spoiled for others.

Source: TiVo Research


TiVo Research conducted the TiVo Spoilers Behavior Survey in June 2015. Respondents were part of the TiVo Advisors Panel, an opt-in panel of approximately 30,000 TiVo subscribers whose second-by-second viewing behavior is anonymously tracked on an ongoing basis. This viewing data is merged with TiVo Research’s monthly attitudinal surveys, affording TiVo Research with unprecedented insight into behavioral habits and television viewing. 12,528 panel members participated in this survey, with 10,304 of these participants reporting they have been spoiled before.

TiVo is a registered trademark of TiVo Inc. or its subsidiaries worldwide. Coca-Cola is a registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company.

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