Sunday, February 15, 2009

DVR Threatens Daytime Viewing Loyalty

The Syndicated Network Television Association (SNTA) has been telling advertisers for a long time about how day-and-date syndicated programs retain more viewers because people still watch television in traditional ways as scheduled without skipping over the commercials.

But, like so much else in TV, this, too, is changing.

More households are purchasing DVRs. A study of 800 daytime television viewers age 18 to 54 was conducted by New York-based Frank N. Magid Associates. Twenty-five percent to 50 percent of viewers of any particular daytime show are now shifting into digital video recorders (DVRs).

Over one-third of those surveyed had DVRs, while one in five said they planned to purchase one. The survey included 25 daytime shows: all of the network soap operas, seven court shows and eight talk shows.

The number of DVRs in homes is growing according to SNTA. Nielsen reports that 23 percent of homes have a DVR. The numbers are higher among adults 18 to 49 at 29 percent. Media buying agency Koeppel Direct projects that by 2010 approximately one-third of all households will have a DVR.

Why are DVRs such a threat? People use their DVRs to record shows they like that they can then view at any time of the day or night. Many watch nighttime shows on their DVRs during the day. This eats away at a program loyalty and becomes a daily habit.