4 in 10 US Households Have DVR

December 22, 2010

nielsen-dvr-income-dec-2010.JPGNearly four in 10 (38%) US households have a DVR player, according to a new study from The Nielsen Company. Data from “DVR State of the Media Report” indicates those households tend to be wealthier than the average US household. While 17.9% of all people 18-plus live in a household with annual income of less than $25,000, only 8% of people 18-plus living in DVR households do. At the other end of the spectrum, 18.8% of all people 18-plus live in a household with annual income of $100,000 or more, compared to 29% of all people 18-plus living in a DVR household.

DVR Penetration Highest in White Households

nielsen-dvr-race-dec-2010.JPGForty percent of white households have a DVR, slightly higher than the 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.

SciFi, Sitcoms Get Highest DVR Rating Lift

nielsen-dvr-genre-dec-2010.JPGDuring the 2009-2010 broadcast season, the top-ranked time-shifted genre was Science Fiction, which received a 1.3 rating lift from seven days of DVR playback. (Nielsen notes that only one program, “V” on ABC, fell into this category during the past season.)

Sitcoms also ranked highly on lift from DVR playback, with the genre garnering an additional rating point (1.02) after seven days of playback. General Drama was close behind, with nearly a full rating point of lift (0.97), followed by Variety/Reality programs, with a 0.81 rating lift after seven days of playback.

News and sports genres received relatively little lift from playback, which Nielsen says is not surprising since viewers generally prefer to watch these types of shows live. Feature films were the least time-shifted genre, which according to Nielsen is perhaps because their availability on a growing number of platforms and distribution networks prior to the broadcast window has increased the likelihood that viewers will have already seen them.

DVR Playback Follows Similar Pattern to Live TV

nielsen-dvr-playback-dec-2010.JPGDVR playback levels throughout the day tend to follow a similar pattern as live TV usage, with most DVR playback occurring in primetime (34%) and peaking at 9 PM (12%) and 10 PM (13%). Early fringe (M-Su 6-8p) and late fringe (M-Su: 11p-1a) are the next most popular dayparts for DVR playback. Nielsen analysis indicates this pattern has remained very consistent over the last few years, though there has been a small increase in the amount of playback taking place in late fringe.

Half of Timeshifted Programming Watched Same Day

Overall, 49% of time-shifted primetime broadcast programming is played back the same day it was recorded, and 88% is played back within three days. But the length of time within which shows are played back varies depending on the time at which the program aired.

Generally, programs that are broadcast at 8 PM are more likely to be played back later the same day (57%), while those that air at 9 PM and 10 PM are less likely to be played back the same day (45% and 33%, respectively) and more likely to be played back later in the week. Of course, the later in the evening that a program is broadcast, the less time viewers have to watch it later that same day.

Almost 100M Watch Timeshifted TV

Timeshifted TV reached about 97.9 million monthly US viewers in Q2 2010, up about 18% from Q2 2009, according to other recent Nielsen data. While in-home TV reached 286.6 US million monthly US viewers in Q2 2010, this was only up less than 1% from Q2 2009.


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