Philadelphia: The rising popularity of digital video recorders had seemed to spell doom for US primetime TV because technology had allowed viewers to skip ads. But a study to be released later this week shows DVRs are probably replacing DVD viewing, not television.
More than 90% of people surveyed in May by Knowledge Networks Inc., a market research firm, said they typically watch TV during the primetime hours of 8 p.m. to midnight, a rate similar to what the company found four years ago. But 19% of respondents now have DVRs, five times the proportion in 2004.
“Increased DVR usage seems to come at the expense of watching purchased video,” said David Tice, director of The Home Technology Monitor at Knowledge Networks, who noted that DVD sales have been falling for several years.The market research company recruited 814 randomly selected people in the 13 to 54 age group by phone. They responded to questions in an online survey. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
*About 4% respondents said they watched TV outside their homes this year, down from 7% four years ago, perhaps due to the increase in high-definition programs and channels; 28% owned an HD TV set
* More than one in 10 viewers watched an HD programme in any given primetime hour
* Number of viewers who tune in during primetime for a specific show rose to 48% in 2008 from 41% in 2004
* Viewers are not as tied to broadcast programmes or schedules as before. People want to be entertained, usually having just had dinner and before going to bed, and if they can’t find anything on TV, they’ll watch video on their DVRs and from other sources
* At any given hour, 8% of recorded content being viewed came from the DVR, up from 4% four years ago, the survey said. The rest of recorded content came from DVDs and video tapes
* Viewers aged 13 to 29 were more likely to change channels during commercials in primetime than people in other age groups. Members of this group, known in the survey as millennials, also are more apt to watch TV outside their homes once a week
* Rise in DVR viewing among consumers means networks, ad agencies and advertisers need to think of ways to keep people from skipping their ads, Tice said. Companies must embrace alternative ways of reaching viewers without neglecting their traditional audience.
Knowledge Networks recruited 814 randomly selected people ages 13 to 54 by phone. They responded to questions in an online survey. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.