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Delayed TV Viewing Continues to Grow

Even as consumers spend more time watching time-shifted TV programming, the amount of live programming they watch and the bulk of viewing activity remains constant.

According to Nielsen's first quarter cross-platform report, adults spent five hours and 10 minutes a day watching live TV, down one second from a year ago, and unchanged from two years ago.

The amount of time-shifted viewing was 34 minutes per day, up five minutes from a year ago and up eight minutes from two years ago.
In addition to digital video recorders, consumers are using video on demand and subscription VOD in larger numbers.

"Over the last two years, video on demand has matured into a significant platform for content delivery and discovery," Dounia Turrill, senior VP for insights at Nielsen, said in the report.

Turrill said VOD is available in more than 60% of households.

"While on average VOD contributes 4-5% in the coveted 18-49 demo, individual shows have seen upward of 15-20% increase in viewership from VOD," she said, adding that VOD is also appealing to younger demos as well as Asian-Americans whose overall contribution through VOD is 8%.

Close to 40% of U.S. TV households currently subscribe to at least one SVOD service, according to the report. These SVOD subscribers are more likely to have children, more likely to be educated and more likely to have a higher income—all very coveted demos, Nielsen said.

According to Nielsen, traditional multichannel video programming distributors lost about a half million subscribers since a year ago's first quarter, with wired cable losing 2 million and telco's picking most of those up. The number of broadcast only homes rose to 11.6 million from 11.2 million. Nielsen said there were 1.6 million broadband only households in its universe. It didn't measure broadband only homes a year ago.

DVR penetration rose to 55.2 million households from 51.7 million a year ago. Tablets were in 37.6 million households, up from 23.1 million a year ago. And enabled smart TVs were in 10.2 million homes, up from 5.2 million a year ago.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.