Interpublic Unit Finds 28/72 Rule For DVRs: Minority Represent Majority Of Time-Shifting

Using a little known source of data in the United States - time-shifted ratings information from the U.K.'s BARB service - Interpublic's Magna Global unit says it has unveiled a startling truth about the way households with digital video recorders time-shift television viewing. The analysis, published as part of the most recent edition of Magna's "On Demand Quarterly," finds that 13.8% of all viewing done in the average DVR household is time shifted. Even more revealing, Magna Director of Industry Analysis Brian Wieser wrote, is the fact that a relatively small percentage of those DVR households account for the lion's share of time-shifted viewing.

"A small group accounts for a dominant share of DVR usage: Applying conservative assumptions, it appears that slightly more than a quarter (28%) of DVR users account for almost three quarters (72%) of total marketplace time shifting -implying that the vast majority of consumers with DVRs use them on a limited basis, and continue to watch most TV in real-time," Wieser wrote, adding that the finding supports "the heart of the argument we have frequently made in the past: that individuals who time shift all of their viewing are simply not representative of the market - and in fact, represent a very small minority of the overall market."

The Magna report suggests this is an important epiphany for Madison Avenue, and should come as reassurance for big national TV advertisers that DVRs are far from the TV advertising killer that many believe them to be, because the vast majority of viewers with DVRs continue to watch the medium in real-time, with commercials intact.

Tags: television
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