90% of TV Viewing Live Even With DVRs in 44% of Households

According to new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group, about 44% of American TV households now have at least one digital video recorder, up from 8% in 2005, and 62% digital cable subscribers now use video-on-demand at least monthly versus 52% a year ago. However, about 90% of all TV viewing in the U.S. is still via live TV, says the report.

In addition, 73% of all digital cable subscribers have ever used Video on-Demand, with 87% of this group having watched an on-Demand program or movie in the past month. Overall, about 62% of digital cable subscribers used on-Demand in the past month, compared to 52% last year.

Additional significant findings show that:

  • 80% of DVR owners rate the service 8-10 (with 10 being excellent), compared to 80% last year, and 77% two years ago
  • 62% of cable VOD users rate the service 8-10 compared to 60% last year, and 55% two years ago
  • 74% of Premium on-Demand users rate VOD 8-10, compared to 54% of non-POD users
  • 63% of all Netflix subscribers rate the Watch Instantly feature 10 (on a 1-10 scale with 10 being an extremely important feature or benefit of the Netflix service), compared to 48% last year, and 37% two years ago
  • 20% of Netflix subscribers use Watch Instantly daily, and 57% weekly, while last year 10% used Watch Instantly daily, and 43% weekly
  • 78% of Watch Instantly users use it to watch movies and TV shows on a TV set
  • 86% of Netflix households subscribe to a multi-channel video service, and 43% with a multi-channel video service subscribe to a premium service, similar to all households in the sample, and similar to Netflix households last year



These findings are based on a survey of over 1,300 households throughout the United States, and are part of LRG’s study, On-Demand TV 2011: A Nationwide Study on VOD and DVRs.

 More information may be found in the LRG PDF file available here.


4 comments about "90% of TV Viewing Live Even With DVRs in 44% of Households".
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  1. Jim Blundell from Survey Audits Pty Ltd, October 20, 2011 at 8:58 a.m.

    "However, about 90% of all TV viewing in the U.S. is still via live TV, says the report."
    90% of what TV viewing - of in-home on standard TV set viewing OR including viewing via other equipment (eg computers, Tablets, phones, etc) in-home/anywhere? In other words, what does the 100% include and what does it exclude.

  2. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, October 20, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.

    This makes complete sense. Once again, early hype gives way to reality. The DVR is a superb addition to TV viewing, but it won't kill it.

    And my prediction is that neither will various internet ideas. In reality, TV will evolve with internet distribution and become better, but not suffer the destruction wished upon it by too many industry "observers".

  3. David Rowe from Doremus, October 20, 2011 at 6:54 p.m.

    Wonder if the 90% viewing live include those watching on a slight time delay through a DVR (that is what I do). This still allows you to fast forward through commercials.

  4. Michael C Savino from Headline Communications, October 21, 2011 at 11:34 a.m.

    I'd like to know a breakdown based on programming. Sure, I don't use my TIVO for news and sports, but any prime-time or late-night viewing is almost exclusively via the tivo. And I also do what David is suggesting: I'll get up, hit "pause" and come back to the news, fast forwarding through commercials.

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