The firm is also predicting that the homes with VOD, a category that includes both traditional multichannel VOD offerings and over the top services, will hit 70.1 million homes, about 57% of all TV homes at the end of 2016. That is up from 51.1 million homes with VOD or about 44% of all TV homes at the end of the third quarter of 2010.
Today, according to a new Nielsen study, DVR playback contributes significantly to overall TV usage and makes up a substantial portion of the ratings for some TV shows. During the 2009-2010 broadcast season, DVR playback after 7 days added 2.29 rating points to total day TV usage levels for persons 18-49 in households with a DVR. Nevertheless, because DVR households watch less television throughout the day than non-DVR households, TV usage (Live+7) for total day was about one rating point higher in non-DVR households than in households with a DVR, even after playback.
In primetime, however, where DVR playback added almost 7.9 ratings points to TV usage levels in DVR homes, the situation was reversed. In this daypart, playback pushed TV usage in DVR households almost a full rating point above that in non-DVR homes.
For the television and advertising industries, the DVR continues to represent both a blessing and a challenge. By allowing viewers to timeshift shows that they are not able to watch during the original broadcast, the DVR is helping TV networks hold on to viewers who would otherwise seek out other ways to watch these shows, or not watch them at all. At the same time, DVRs enable viewers to fast-forward through content that doesn't interest them, including commercials, potentially undermining television's longtime ad-supported business model.
Some key findings discussed in this report include:
According to the Nielsen National People Meter Panel, as of September 2010 DVR ownership stood at 38% of all US TV households. A key factor in the increasing adoption of DVRs has been their integration into cable and DBS set top boxes.As of September 2010, 58% of DVR homes had a DVR within their cable set top box, and 40% had one within their DBS set top box. Just 3% had a stand-alone DVR.
Though DVR penetration continued to grow over the past year, the percentage of homes with multiple DVRs remained unchanged. 71% of DVR homes have only one unit, 24% of DVR homes have two, and 5% have three or more.
DVR ownership is highest among White households, followed by Asian households. Ownership rates are lower for African-American and Hispanic households.
DVR Penetration by Race/Ethnicity
% of DVR Penetration
Source: Nielsen, December 2011 Study
Viewers in upper income households are more likely to have and use a DVR than those in lower income households. During May 2010, adults in households with an annual income of $100K+ represented about 19% of the total NPM sample but made up 29% of adults that owned a DVR.
Similarly, viewers in households with $100K+ income made up 30% of the primetime DVR playback audience, and those in households with $75K+ income made up half the primetime playback audience.
Demographics of DVR Playback Audience
% of Sample
% of total P18+
% of P18+ within DVR HH
Less than $25K
$25K - $50K
$50K - $75K
$75K - $100K
Source: Nielsen, December 2011 Study
The majority of DVR users are under the age of 45. However, as DVR penetration has grown, older viewers have begun to catch up with their younger counterparts in their willingness to use this technology. As of May 2010, about 38% of the DVR-playback audience was 45 or older.
Contrary to fears that DVRs would wipe out the value of commercials because of viewers fast-forwarding through ads, DVRs actually contribute significantly to commercial viewing. In May 2010, the average rating for a primetime commercial minute among persons age 18-49 in DVR households rose from 1.54 in live viewing to 2.21 three days later, a 44% lift. This degree of lift to the viewing of commercials has remained steady for several years. On a total U.S. basis, DVR playback added a 16% lift to the average minute of primetime commercials.
Overall, 49% of time-shifted primetime broadcast programming is played back the same day it was recorded, and 88% is played back within 3 days. But the length of time within which shows are played back varies depending on the time at which the program aired.
Generally, programs that are broadcast at 8pm are more likely to be played back later the same day (57%), while those that air at 9pm and 10pm are less likely to be played back the same day (45% and 33%, respectively) and more likely to be played back later in the week. Of course, the later in the evening that a program is broadcast, the less time viewers have to watch it later that same day.
For additional details on playback, primetime and genre trends, please visit here for access to the PDF file.