Subscription Video Availability Now Equals DVR Penetration, Nielsen Says; Media Consumption Up An Hour Per Day

Nielsen’s 1st-quarter 2016 Total Audience Report marks what the company is calling a milestone in U.S. media: Availability of SVOD – subscription video on demand – is now equal to DVR penetration, with both available in 50% of U.S. TV households.

That’s great news for services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime, with Nielsen noting that SVOD penetration is growing while DVRs have leveled off. Traditional platforms continue to make up the largest segment of TV media usage, the report notes, and the share of live TV increases with viewer age while the share of digital and TV-connected devices is highest among younger adults. (The medium with the most consistent share of time across demos? Radio.)

To break it down even further, Nielsen reports that 72% of homes have either a DVR or access to SVOD, up from 67% last year, with SVOD growth signaling that fewer and fewer homes rely solely on DVRs. “The steady growth of SVOD means that the ‘SVOD Only’ and ‘DVR and SVOD’ categories are growing, while fewer homes have ‘DVR Only,'” the report notes.

The report released Monday addresses audience composition, reach and time spent with media. Among its findings: adults watch 4:31 hours of live TV a day, down from 4:34 hours last year at this time. Smartphone usage for apps and web engagement jumped from 1:02 to 1:39 hours.

Courtesy of Nielsen Company

By Nielsen’s count, the monthly number of adult users of of Live + DVR/Time-shifted TV is 226 million, compared to 191 million monthly users of smartphones for apps and web. Monthly users of DVRs for time-shifted TV is 158 million, while 106 million use tablets, 93 million use DVD/Blu-Ray and 60 million use multi-media devices. Sixty-one million a month use game consoles, per Nielsen.

Overall, media consumption is – to no one’s surprise – on the rise. “Total media consumption continues to increase among adults with an additional hour of overall time spent as compared to the prior year,” the report notes. The average time spent per adult, per day, on total media consumption went from 9:39 hours last year to 10:39 this year – and that covers live and time-shifted TV, radio, DVD, tablet, smartphones, PCs, video game consoles and other multi-media devices.


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