My Take on DVRs
Phil Asmundson, U.S. Media & Telecommunications Sector Leader, Deloitte LLP
Imagine that you have a TV with a standard cable box, without DVR capabilities. You also have a home computer with a high-speed connection. If you missed a favorite TV show, your best option for catching up is your computer, where you can find the archived episode that you missed.
So far, so good. Unless you’re a cable company. Why? Consider these findings:
- For the first time, less than half of all viewers say they have viewed their favorite shows live on their home TV. In 2011, the number was only 49%. In 2008, it was 71%. That’s striking.
- DVR is the second most popular means of viewing favorite television shows, at 24%. Slowly but surely, year after year, this trend is rising.
- Streaming services are rising in popularity. Whether streamed to the computer or the television, paid subscription services such as Netflix and Blockbuster are making headway.
- Only 44% of the people we surveyed have DVR functionality as part of their current cable package.
So the preference for live viewing is experiencing a serious decline, the next-best way to view programs is through DVR…and yet less than half of viewers actually have DVR functionality. Meanwhile, options for viewing are on the rise, as new devices and new services continue to appear.
Generational differences also contribute to a challenging environment for cable providers. While older viewers prefer live viewing on their home TV, millennials are all over the map. From free online video services to video sharing sites, videogame consoles and smartphones, they’re finding many different ways to view their favorite content. Cable providers should consider enhanced ways to leverage their current strengths before users flock to other options. DVR would appear to be a strong starting point for waging that battle – but today it’s underused.