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Cable Technology Feature Article

November 30, 2012

New Study Reveals DVRs to be in 52 Percent of Homes with Pay-TV Service

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

Gone are the days when watching soap operas involved VHS tapes and making certain that tapes were rewound. Now, recording shows isn’t just for daytime lovers or for those who have kids in sports or other nighttime commitments – they are increasingly becoming the primary way people are enjoying watching TV.

When DVRs first hit the scene, they were something of an exciting novelty, promising a future that didn’t involve accidentally taping Days of Our Lives over baby’s first steps. Initially, most people didn’t even know them as DVRs, knowing them as their brand name “TiVo (News - Alert).” When cable companies first started introducing whole-home systems, everyone started jumping on the bandwagon.

So much so that according to a new study, DVRs are in over half of American households that have pay-TV service. The study, conducted by Leichtman Research Group, surveyed 1,300 households, finding that of those households with pay-TV service, 52 percent had a DVR – representing about 45 of all American households. Five years ago, when Nielsen conducted a similar study, DVRs were only in 13.5 percent of households. At such a high rate of adoption, it won’t be long until that the number of people living without DVRs are in a very small minority.

Image via Shutterstock

What does this mean for television? As fewer and fewer people watch live ads, selling ad space for OnDemand channels is becoming increasingly important. Other channels, such as USA, have started taking their own piece of the Hulu (News - Alert) ad pie. To prepare for the upcoming season of Suits, for example, USA has made the entire first season available through their OnDemand channel. 

Other stations including NBC, ABC and the WB have also started making their episodes available online through their site directly, meaning that ad money is going to them, not Hulu. While this widespread popularity of DVRs does not mean it is impossible to sell ad space anymore, it does mean that stations will have to get a bit more creative about monetizing their shows.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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