According to a study of VOD viewing in the US, consumers aren’t into time shifting – at least yet. And, in fact, they actually spend more time staring at the tube than digital and basic cable subscribers. The study, from Nielsen Media Research and cableco Comcast, surveyed 180 VOD households in the Philadelphia area between June and August last year, and combined Nielsen’s local People Meter data with data from the cable operator. The study found that vod viewing has little effect on live TV viewing, while households that do use VOD services watch 9% more minutes of TV than other digital cable viewers, and 38% more than basic cable subscribers. Those aged 18 to 34 watched 37% of all of the VOD minutes and 20% of traditional TV minutes. Children aged 2 to 11 watched 19% of the VOD minutes and 9% of the traditional TV minutes. What held their interest most? According to the study, free content such as short videos and music videos were the most viewed VOD material, while shows on ad-free subscription nets such as hbo were the most watched VOD programming.
In another joint venture, Nielsen and Comcast will begin testing a vod measurement system in the US the first quarter of this year. Nielsen Media Research also began incorporating PVR viewing into its National People Meter reporting. It has found any declines in program ratings to be very slight and suggests the effect of PVRs on viewing in 2006 will be minimal.