Traditional DVR Time-Shifted Viewing Declines

Traditional DVR TV time-shifted viewing is witnessing steeper declines among key viewing groups.

There was a 12% drop in time-shifted program viewing on a monthly basis among viewers 18+ to 25 hours and 21 minutes for the first quarter of 2016 versus the same period a year ago, according to the Video Advertising Bureau, and using Nielsen data.

The VAB says the time-shifted viewing declines are at the lowest level in three years.

Seventy-seven percent of all TV viewing is now live in prime time among 18-49 viewers and 23% is coming from DVR playback, looking at September 2015 through July 2016. Some 80% is live in daytime, with 20% in DVR playback. For a number of years, other estimates were that the share of time-shifted programming was at about 50% for the average TV viewer.



Among younger demos ages 18 to 34 the fall has been steeper, over a 16% decline to 17 minutes and 27 seconds (17:27) on a total day monthly basis. Viewers ages 18 to 49 have seen a 10% decline to 22:12.

Previously, 18-to-34 viewers witnessed a 7% decline from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, with a 2% drop for 18 to 49 viewers.

Older TV viewers are also using DVR technology less: Those ages 50 to 64 are down 6% to 29:20 for the first quarter of 2016. TV viewers older 65 and older have fallen 7% to 28:41.

Some media analysts say the decline in overall traditional TV viewership -- live and time-shifted -- is partly due to the rise of digital media.

The VAB says the majority of time-shifted viewing still occurs around the evening time periods -- 8 p.m. to midnight -- in an 8% to 10% share range of all minutes viewed per hour for 18-49 viewers.

General drama and “participation variety” TV shows are the most time-shifted TV shows, according to the study.

2 comments about "Traditional DVR Time-Shifted Viewing Declines".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, September 14, 2016 at 10:26 a.m.

    These findings may be true, but forgive me for thinking twice about a news release from any organization with the words "Advertising Bureau" in its name.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 14, 2016 at 2:15 p.m.

    From an analytical point of view, Wayne, the findings about young adults reducing their DVR delayed voiewing must be contrasted with their degree of live viewing. If this declied by the same amount, then that's the story---namely that TV viewing in general was down---again---for this group. If live viewing did not decline---unlikely---while delayed viewing fell off, that's another matter and is food for speculation.

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