According to new research from Hub Entertainment Research “Time Shifting” viewers, who have broadband and watch at least 5 hours of TV per week, time-shift more TV than they watch live. The average viewer says that 47% of the TV shows they watch are live and 53% are time-shifted. Among Millennials, time shifting is even more common. Viewers 16-34 say that only 39% of the TV they watch in a typical week is live.
Most time-shifted viewing still happens through a set top box, says the report. Together, DVRs (34%) and VOD from a pay TV provider (19%) account for more than half of all time-shifted viewing. The study explores the usage and drivers of four main categories of time-shifting alternatives: DVR, Video on Demand, TV Everywhere and OTT platforms.
Untethering TV from a linear schedule has both invigorated and disrupted the TV industry, says the report. Watching on your own schedule has made TV a more compelling entertainment option for consumers, in general, and it has also made back catalogs more accessible, and thus more valuable. However, shifting has put tremendous pressure on how the TV business has traditionally made money: TV shows watched live, with ads
The executive summary overview of findings provides these details:
When it comes to TV viewing, consumers are increasingly living in the past
Ad avoidance is not the biggest reason people time shift—but it’s a factor
In aggregate, DVRs and VOD service account for more than half of time shifted viewing:
Percentage Of Shows Viewed Per Source
Top Reasons For Watching Shows Later (All Respondents)
Start with the DVR, sprinkle in VOD, and add OTT services, and suddenly the ability to watch TV on your own schedule has shifted from a benefit to an expectation, concludes the report. It's all part and parcel of the new mindset that the Internet has wrought: providers of any service must deliver in a way that meets the consumers' needs, rather than the other way around.
Time-shifted viewing is now the default, says the report. And, If anything, time-shifting is only going to increase. With the exception of sports and some reality genres, most TV shows today are watched sometime after they air. All of which makes the question of how to track viewership and monetize programming more challenging, and more urgent, than ever.
The complete report, with more charts and graphs, may be accessed here.