DVR Households: Heavy Media Users

The number of households with Digital Video Recorders (DVR), and video-on-demand (VoD) is on the rise according to “On-Demand TV 2006: A Nationwide Study on Vod and DVRs” from Leichtman Research Group. A second study released by Mediamark Research (MRI) finds DVR users to be more affluent, and greater consumers media.

The report finds 12 percent of U.S. households have a DVR, up from 3 percent in 2004. VoD usage has a greater uptake, 60 percent of digital cable subscribers have watched VoD content. Two years ago 25 percent of subscribers had used VoD.

DVRs households record an average 11.3 programs per week, up 23 percent from last year. The number of programs actually recorded on DVRs is low relative to the volume of TV consumed. The report estimates 4 percent of all TV viewing in the U.S. is recorded or consumed through on-demand channels. The same activity accounted for 2 percent of TV consumed in 2005.

Programming is the motivation for consumers to watch recorded and VoD content. Sixty-four percent cite no programs to watch at the time they want to watch as the reason for consuming such content.

The Mediamark study looks at the demographics of DVR users. It finds 11.2 percent of U.S. adult households have DVRs, up from 8.6 in the fall of 2005..

DVR owners tend to have higher levels of education and household incomes. College educated adults comprise 36.8 percent of DVR owners, compared to 25.2 percent of the U.S. adult population. Seventeen percent of DVR homes have an average household income exceeding $150,000, compared to 8 percent of the general adult population. Nearly 16 percent of DVR households own homes worth over $500,000, compared to 9 percent of the general population.

Media usage among DVR owners is also more aggressive. Adults in DVR households are 43 percent more likely to read magazines regularly; 40 percent more likely to be heavy readers of newspapers; and 81 percent more likely to use the Internet on a regular basis than non-DVR homes.

While DVR households have the ability to watch more TV, and often record two programs simultaneously; they tend to watch less TV than non-DVR households. The DVR contingent is 23 percent less likely to be heavy TV watchers.

The Leichtman study is based on a survey of 1,350 U.S. households. MRI conducted a survey in the fall of 2005 and repeated the survey in the spring of 2006. The survey period for the spring release was March 2005 to early May 2006.

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