New Study Says Americans Want Their TiVo

By The Myers Report Archives
Cover image for  article: New Study Says Americans Want Their TiVo

Fifty percent of households that do not currently have a digital video recorder (DVR) are interested in having the ability to record TV programs on a DVR to watch at any time, according to new Emotional Connections™ Research conducted by Jack MyersMedia Business Report among 8,000 Americans aged 18 to 64. The promotional feature that non-DVR users find most interesting is the ability to start watching a programs from the beginning even if they turn it on after it has already started, a service some cable operators have been quietly testing. Sixty-four percent of non-DVR users find such a service interesting and valuable, while 39 percent want to watch a program they record at home anywhere on their laptop, PC or cell phone. Fifty-eight percent of current DVR users would like the same feature, which is being offered by the Slingboxservice recently acquired by Dish Network.

Respondents to the Myers study have either cable or satellite TV and watch TV at least one hour per week, classifying them as active TV viewers. (Myers Emotional Connections™ Research details and methodology are available at JackMyers.com Research).


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Another very popular feature that is currently being developed and marketed by TiVois the ability to store on the TV personal videos, photos and music and being able to play them on the TV, PC, cell phone or laptop. Forty-three percent of non-DVR users are interested in this service while an impressive 61 percent of current DVR users are interested. The only age group that has significantly less interest in these DVR-based capabilities is the 55 to 64 group. TiVo markets an enhanced DVR with features not available in the standard cable and satellite DVR equipped set top box.

Current DVR users in the Myers research claim significantly different viewing playback behavior than is suggested by the current live plus three and live plus seven day ratings data being released by Nielsen Media Research. A full eighty percent of DVR users say they skip all or most commercials, with half of this group saying they skip "all commercials" and half "most commercials" when they playback programming. An additional 12.6% say they skip some commercials, with 4.2% saying they skip very few commercials; only three percent never skip commercials. Somewhat surprisingly, 8.6% of teens aged 15 to 17 say they never skip commercials compared to only 2.6% of adults 18 to 54. Also somewhat surprising, females 18 to 49 are more likely to skip commercials than men 18 to 49. Respondents who have used a DVR in the past week were asked "When watching programs that you have recorded using your DVR, which of the following best describes you regarding commercials."


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However, 63% of those who skip commercials acknowledge they stop and view selected commercials, giving hope to advertisers that creative strategies can influence commercial skipping behavior. Again, teens are most likely to stop and view commercials and males are more likely than females to stop and view.

Among DVR users aged 18 to 49, 43.5% spend more than half of their average weekly TV viewing time with programs that have been previously recorded. Among teens, 31.6% spend more than half their weekly TV viewing time with pre-recorded programming and 38% of 18 to 24 year olds spend more than half their TV viewing time with pre-recorded programs. Women 18 to 49 are watching slightly more pre-recorded programs than males 18 to 49. Interestingly 48% of Asian Americans and 42% of Latino/Hispanic audiences with DVR in their homes are spending more than 50% of their TV viewing time with pre-recorded programs.

Because the Myers sample excludes broadcast-only households and includes only respondents who view at least one hour of television daily, it is not a snapshot of the average American home, although it reflects the households advertisers are most interested in and reflects, to a degree, the household of the future. In all standard age, demographic, ethnic and geographic characteristics it is representative of the U.S. population. Among this audience, an impressive 31 percent claim to have used a DVR in the past week, with 24% using a digital video recorder (DVR) in their cable/satellite set top box and 6.8% using a TiVo brand DVR. 38 percent of teens 18 to 34 say they have used a DVR in the past week. Because the question was asked as "usage" rather than "ownership," the data does not necessarily represent actual household penetration.


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The research was conducted online during March and April 2007 using OTX’s (Online Testing Exchange) nationwide Internet panel. A total of 8,000 respondents participated in this survey. These respondents have either cable or satellite television in the home with at least 60 channels; they spend at least one hour daily viewing television programming. They are between the ages of 15 and 64. Over 65 audiences and broadcast-only households were not included in the study. This is a TV centric audience designed to represent the audience advertisers and programmers are targeting. As such, they tend to be more advanced in their use of new media technologies and represent a somewhat futuristic view of media consumption. Otherwise, the respondent universe reflects an accurate cross-sample of the American TV viewing population, based on age, gender, geography, education, ethnicity and income.

More information on the Myers Emotional Connections Research is available at JackMyers.com Research. Emotional Connections is a trademark of Jack Myers.

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