Almost 40% of US online adults use a DVR, and 15% tap online sources for 4+ hours of TV viewing per week — according to new Forrester data based on a survey of 61,000 US and 5,800 Canadian adults. However few are relying solely on these alternatives: only 11% avoid linear TV and report primarily watching programs recorded on their DVRs, online, or both. In reality, live TV viewing still occupies more time than all the alternative viewing platforms together, and cord cutters account for just 6% of the audience today. But this doesn’t mean viewers can’t be swayed to make the cut: many DVR owners interviewed by Forrester acknowledge the possibility that something better may come along, and according to Analyst Jim Nail, this data foretells the rise of online viewing displacing the DVR.

“Against this background of consumer behavior, TV goals will change from highest possible reach to the deepest penetration of the specific audience,” writes Nail. “Advertising must come to terms with planning campaigns in a totally altered landscape that increasingly looks like the online advertising world.”

Additional study findings include:

  • Gen Y & Z embrace online viewing with gusto. 24% and 32% watch 4+ hours of online TV per week respectively, compared to 12% of Gen X and 7% of Younger Boomers. The numbers reverse when it comes to the DVR, with 26% of Gen Z, 40% of Gen Y, 45% of Gen X, and 38% of Younger Boomers reporting usage of this device.
  • Higher incomes are fertile ground for DVRs’ growth. Only 25% of Gen Z and Y viewers whose household income is below $70,000 report using a DVR, but usage soars to 46% over this threshold.

To learn more about this research, visit the Marketing Leaderhsip blog here.