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SVOD uptake ‘on a par with DVR’ in US

netflix SymantecSubscription video-on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video now have equal penetration to DVRs in the US, with both available in 50% of TV homes, according to new research.

Nielsen’s first quarter 2016 Total Audience Report said that SVOD has reached an “important milestone” in the US, catching up with DVR access for the first time following a steady rise in uptake over the pas year.

The research shows that DVR penetration in the US has remained roughly consistent over the past year, rising from 49% in Q1, 2015 to 50% in Q1, 2016 and fluctuating between the two figures quarter-over-quarter.

By comparison SVOD penetration has climbed each successive quarter, rising from 42% in Q1, 2015 to 50% in Q1, 2016.

Nielsen also said that close to 30% of homes now have a both DVR and access to SVOD – up nearly 20% from last year, showing a continued desire among viewers to “control what they watch and when they watch it”.

“Can there ever be too much of a good thing? For digital viewers, the answer to this Shakespearian conundrum is a resounding ‘No’,” Nielsen said in a statement, adding that “the heaviest users of digital devices account for a vast majority of each device or platform’s overall usage. With penetration and usage of digital devices increasing, marketers and advertisers should take note”.

The US study found that 83% of smartphone video viewing, 87% of in-home PC streaming and 71% of TV-connected device usage stems from the top 20% of users. It also notes that while time spent using ‘traditional devices’ – namely televisions – has remained constant, consumer attention “continues to expand”.

“Daily usage of tablets and smartphones alone has increased 63% and 60%, respectively, among adults since just last year: tablet usage is up twelve minutes, and smartphone usage increased 37 minutes,” said Nielsen.

“The rapid growth of new media is indicative of an evolving media palate. With more choices being made available to consumers, it’s becoming increasingly pertinent for marketers and advertisers to understand the behaviours associated with them.”