Skip to main content

Nielsen: SVOD Penetration Equals DVRs in U.S.

Subscription video-on-demand has caught up with DVRs in terms of penetration in U.S. TV households, according to Nielsen’s first quarter Total Audience Report.

The report found that total media consumption among U.S. adults is up nearly an hour over all of the devices available.

Meanwhile, the decline of live TV usage is showing signs of slowing, according to the report.

The two technologies that have threatened to kill TV have both penetrated 50% of TV households. DVR penetration remained constant at 50%, while subscription video-on-demand rose from 42% a year ago and 48% last quarter to 50% in the first quarter, according to Nielsen.

Nielsen said that 72% of homes have either a DVR or an SVOD subscription, up from 67% last year.

The amount of time spent watching live TV dipped 1% to 4 hours and 31 minutes per day, still by far the most time spent on any activity measured by Nielsen. The amount of time with time-sifted TV on DVRs was flat at 33 minutes. Rising were the amount of time spent on tablets, up 63% to 31 minutes and smartphone use, up 60% to 1 hour and 39 minutes.

Adults—people above the age of 18—spent 42% of their time on live TV, 30% of their time on digital devices, 11% on TV connected devices and 17% on radio. With younger viewers, live TV was just 29%, compared to 39% on digital and 15% on connected devices. With older viewers, age 50 plus, 53% of their time was spent on live, 21% on digital and 8% on connected gadgets.

Nielsen said that the number of cable homes fell to 99.225 million from 100.774 million a year ago. The number of broadband only homes rose to 3.9 million from 3.1 million a year ago. And the number of broadcast only homes rose to 13.3 million from 12.5 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.