TV viewers do more time-shifting once they have become more accustomed to using a DVR, according to a new study from The Nielsen Company. Data from “DVR State of the Media Report” indicates that in households which had acquired a DVR only within the past 12 months as of May 2010, playback added 4.3 points to primetime usage levels for persons age 18-49, making up about 13% of their total Live+7 (live viewing and seven days after live broadcast) usage. In households which had a DVR during both May 2009 and May 2010, DVR playback added almost 8.5 points of lift, or about 26% of their total Live+7 usage.

DVR Playback Users Have Wealthier Profile

Comparing the demographic household makeup of prime-time US TV viewers who watch live TV, who have a DVR but watch live TV, and watch time-shifted TV within seven days after live broadcast, it is clear that households which delay the viewing of TV shows with a DVR are more likely to be wealthy.

For example, 30% of households engaging in DVR playback have an annual income of $100,000 or more, compared to about 25% of DVR households watching a prime-time show live and only 15% of all households watching live TV. Conversely, 22% of all live TV households have an annual income of less than $25,000, compared to 10% of DVR households watching live TV and 7% of households watching time-shifted TV.

Time-shifting Viewers Most Likely Age 18-44

Looking at prime time TV viewing by age, it becomes apparent that viewers in households which watch a show within seven days of live broadcast are most likely to be between age 18 and 44. The largest percentages of viewers age 18-24 (7.4%), 25-34 (21.7%) and 35-44 (21.4%) live in a time-shifting household.

Meanwhile, viewers across all live TV households have the highest rate of being 65 and older (19.7%). Viewers in households which have a DVR but watch live prime time broadcasts have the highest rates of being 2-11 (10%), 12-17 (6.3%), 45-54 (17.9%) and 55-64 (15.9%).

DVRs Help, Not Hinder, Commercial Viewing

Study data indicates DVRs actually contribute significantly to commercial viewing. In May 2010, the average rating for a primetime commercial minute among persons age 18-49 in DVR households rose from 1.54 in live viewing to 2.21 three days later –a 44% lift.* This degree of lift to the viewing of commercials has remained steady for several years. On a total U.S. basis, DVR playback added a 16% lift to the average minute of primetime commercials.

DVR Penetration Highest in White Households

Other study data shows white households have a DVR, slightly higher than the 38.1% total percentage of US households with a DVR and the highest penetration rate of any ethnic group. Asians follow with 35% DVR household penetration. DVRs are also present in 30.3% of African-American households and 29.8% of Hispanic households.

Source: Marketing Charts

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