DVR Users: Most Voracious Consumers of All Media

Nielsen may have given the TV industry a reprieve on how digital video recorders are actually impacting TV viewing, but new research indicates DVR households are some of the most dynamic consumers are an especially important segment of the media population and their behavior likely is affecting all media, not just television.

The findings, which are part of Knowledge Networks' Fall 2004 Multimedia Mentor survey, show that DVR owners are bigger users of media across the board, spending 22 percent more time with media than the average person.

Interestingly, their media consumption patterns are particularly acute for print media and the Internet. They spend 48 percent more time with newspapers, 43 percent more time with magazines and 40 percent more time with the Internet than the average consumer.

While their consumption patters are least pronounced in terms of television – indexing only 17 percent more than the average TV viewer – that likely is a function of the fact that they are controlling more of the content they do watch on television.

Last week, Nielsen announced a plan to delay reporting of DVR usage in its local and national TV ratings panels until January 2006, a move that many TV outlets are happy with, but which Madison Avenue is disappointed with given the profound impact DVRs are believed to be having with TV viewing patterns. Since their inception, Nielsen has been bypassing these households altogether as “technically difficult.”

Until Friday, Nielsen had been planning to introduce DVR ratings beginning this Spring, reporting them on a seven-days delayed basis. Under its new plan, Nielsen will report both same-day playback of DVR recorded programming, as well as seven-days playback.

Time Spent With Media: DVR Owners Vs. The U.S. Average

TV +17%
Radio +19%
Internet +40%
Magazines +43%
Newspapers +48%
All Media +22%

Source: Knowledge Networks’ Fall 2004 Multimedia Mentor survey. Base = DVR owners 12-64, Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 12 midnight.