A new report from Nielsen, reported in Brodcasting & Cable, reports that DVRs actually increase TV viewing – which is probably not a surprise for DVR owners. Comparing viewing by 18-to-49 year olds in November 2005 to viewing in November 2007, when DVR use had increased, Nielsen found a slight increase in viewing throughout the day. It was 3% higher at 9pm, and 5% higher between 11pm and midnight. Users take advantage of their DVRs to watch more programming, but on their own schedules.
Nielsen categorized DVR owners into three categories, based on how much they time shift programming.
Heavy shifters, mostly women aged 18-49, are heavy TV viewers and shift nearly one-half of their total viewing using DVRs.
Medium shifters watch slightly more TV than an average person and shift about one-third of their programs.
Light shifters — which Nielsen classified as being 70% of DVR households — watch less television than normal people and shift about 10% of their shows, mostly to catch episodes they may have missed.
If heavy shifters shift ‘nearly one-half’ of their viewing, I must be depleted uranium. 100% of my TV viewing, at home at least, is via TiVo.