According to Forrester Research, consumers who own digital video recorders (DVRs) like TiVo spend nearly 60% of their time watching recorded or delayed programs, in which they skip 92% of ads. These habits are important because today's DVR users - 5% of households - will grow to 41% within five years, according to Forrester. What changes will the television and advertising industries have to make to weather this shift?
To answer this question and to better understand DVR users' ad-skipping behavior, television viewing tendencies and the impact this shift will have on the television and advertising industries, Forrester surveyed 588 DVR users. "Consumers told us that they love the control DVRs give them. The ability to record programs easily, pause live TV, and skip ads creates a powerful change in the way they view television," says Forrester Research Vice President Josh Bernoff. "As these devices shift the way that mainstream consumers experience programming and advertising, they create both opportunities and challenges for the TV industry."
DVR owners rated their improved enjoyment of TV at an average 4.4 on a five-point scale. Nearly 20% of respondents used the word love in response to an open-ended question about how they feel about their DVRs. DVR owners are hooked on the device - less than 2% of people who owned DVRs have stopped using them. While today's DVR owners are demographically mainstream, they are off the charts in their adoption of premium TV services and home electronics. Nearly half of them have a home network, which is four times the penetration of a typical online household.
While real-time viewing drops by 60% for consumers who use DVRs, programs like the evening news and sporting events are among the programs that retain significant real-time viewing. Forrester's survey respondents report watching only 8% of commercials in recorded programming. Three out of 10 viewers say they watch no commercials at all. Although the numbers paint a gloomy picture for advertisers, viewers do not treat all ads equally. Three out of four DVR users watch some ads at least occasionally. Movie ads and promos for upcoming programming fare best. Conversely, consumers watch less than one in 10 ads about credit cards, long-distance carriers, car dealers, and banks.