Time-​Shifted TV Viewing Rates Increase

As the number of households with digital video recorders (DVRs) rises, more consumers are choosing when they want to watch their favorite shows. DVR penetration has reached a record number of home.  Only about 5% of households use a standalone DVR such as a TIVO and the rest access the technology through equipment provided by their cable or satellite services. The new technology is also allowing consumers more ways to watch TV and to access new kinds of programs.

According to the Leichtman Research Group, DVR penetration rates have reached 54% for consumers with households exceeding $75,000 while those with incomes below $30,000 only have a 16% penetration rate. Last year, a Nielsen survey revealed that over 30% of consumers owned DVRs, but a more recent survey conducted by Comcast says that up to 60% of households may be time-​shifting their TV viewing.

And consumers are using this technology to change the way they watch TV. As the following statistics show, nearly half of consumers are regularly time-shifting:

  • Viewing some live programming: 80%
  • Viewing DVR playbacks: 41%
  • Online: 17%
  • Programming on demand: 16%

Overall, consumers are still watching plenty of TV – an average of  158.25 minutes per day. And they spend 9:36 minutes watching time shifted TV daily, a 14% increase from last year, according to Nielsen.  As time-​shifted TV viewing increases, marketers may find that they need new strategies such as additional product placement or highly creative ads that engage consumers in different ways.

[Sources: How DVRs Are Changing the Television Landscape. Blog​.nielsen​.com. 30 Apr. 2009. Web. 27 Aug. 2010;  Research Notes. Leichtman Research Group. 4Q 2009. Web. 25 Aug 2010; Bauder, David. Survey of viewing shows extent of TV time shifting. Comcast. 17 Aug. 2010. Web. 26 Aug. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.