Study: DVR, VOD Usage Up; Impact Small

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New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group found that while the number of digital-video-recorder and video-on-demand users has significantly increased, the impact on overall TV viewing has been minimal.

Leichtman’s survey found that 60% of all digital-cable subscribers have used VOD, up from 25% two years ago, and about 12% of households in the United States now have DVRs, up from 3% just two years ago.

However, the overall impact of DVRs and VOD on U.S. television viewing remains small. Leichtman estimated that less than 4% of all TV viewing today is of recorded DVR programs or on-demand viewing, up from about 2% a year ago.

These findings are based on a survey of 1,350 households throughout the United States, and they are part of Leichtman’s study, On-Demand TV 2006: A Nationwide Study on VOD and DVRs.

Other key findings include:

• The mean reported number of programs recorded each week in DVR households increased by 23% in the past year, to 11.3;

• Among cable VOD users, the reported mean number of total on-demand programs and movies ordered per week increased by 33% in the past year, to 4.8;

• Premium on-demand programs and movies accounted for one-half of all reported on-demand usage; and

• 62% of DVR subscribers and 64% of VOD users said they usually watch recorded or on-demand programs when there is no regularly scheduled TV on that they want to watch.

“By the end of 2010, over 50 million households will have a DVR, and about 42 million will have access to VOD from their cable provider,” Leichtman president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a prepared statement. “Yet despite the growth in users and usage of DVRs and VOD, it is important to note that these services still represent a very small portion of all TV viewing in the United States.”

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