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Study: DVR, VOD usage growing, but overall impact still minor

Thu, 07/27/2006 - 8:19am
Jeff Baumgartner, CED

Although the number of people using digital video recorders and video-on-demand services continues to climb, that trend has yet to leave much of a dent on total TV viewing, according to a new report from Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

LRG, citing a survey of 1,350 households conducted in June, said 60 percent of all digital cable subs have used VOD, up from 25 percent two years ago. Roughly 12 percent of U.S. homes now have a DVR, up significantly from just 3 percent two years ago.

Usage-wise, LRG said the mean reported number of shows recorded weekly in DVR homes (11.3) jumped 23 percent in the past year.

The mean number of total on-demand programs and movies ordered per week also rose - by 33 percent in the past year - to 4.8 per week. "Premium" VOD shows and movies account for about half of all reported on-demand usage, LRG added.

Despite those increases, less than 4 percent of all U.S. TV viewing is of recorded DVR programs or programs served up on-demand - just 2 percent higher than a year earlier.

"It is important to note that these services still represent a very small portion of all TV viewing in the U.S.," said Bruce Leichtman, the president and principal analyst for LRG, in a statement. 

However, if current predictions hold up, that portion is sure to expand.

LRG estimates that, by 2010, more than 50 million homes will have a DVR, and 42 million will have VOD from a cable provider.

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