Hugging the Curve: Opportunistic On-Demand Users Have Spiked Overall Viewing

Hugging the Curve: Opportunistic On-Demand Users Have Spiked Overall Viewing

Whether it’s watching last night’s drama, last season’s premiere of a sitcom or an original series that doesn’t even air on terrestrial television, Americans are digitally smitten with discovering, catching up on and accessing content on their own terms.

And it’s this content availability that has helped power a sharp video viewing curve, as mobile device penetration, coupled with on-demand options, continue to grow, and as viewers spend more time watching. In fact, according to Nielsen’s Q1 2014 Cross-Platform Report, video on demand (VOD) has come of age over the last two years.

Currently available in over 60 percent of U.S. households, VOD is increasingly contributing to the viewing potential. What’s more is that recently telecast VOD (RTVOD) has emerged as a legitimate choice for consumers who might not have a DVR or simply missed recording last night’s episode. Consider this: On average, RTVOD contributes between 4 and 5 percent in the coveted 18-49 demo. It also appeals to younger demos and Asian Americans, whose overall contribution through VOD is 8 percent!

Better still for advertisers looking to connect with viewers is that RTVOD users of all race/ethnic profiles actually watch more TV—live or time-shifted—than Non RTVOD viewers. Composite RTVOD homes, for instance, watch an hour and five minutes of live primetime television per day, compared with the 54 minutes of live TV time that non-VOD homes log.

What’s more is that users of RTVOD—whose ad-skipping functionality is often disabled—could be an opportunity for advertisers and programmers alike. Not only do these viewers have higher penetration levels across many devices, but they’re also more likely to have four or more years of college and to make more than $100K per year.

Overall, the Q1 Cross-Platform Report found that Americans continue to watch more than five hours of traditional television per day—a statistic that has remained close to flat over the same quarter for three years running. However, daily time spent watching time-shifted content has continued to rise, as has viewing using the Internet on a computer and using a smartphone, which now boasts 70 percent penetration in the U.S. Out of all the race/ethnicities reported, smartphone penetration among Asian Americans is the highest at 81 percent.