After speculating on a VOD tipping point last summer, I happened on two reports this week suggesting the moment has arrived. First, the Kaiser Family Foundation ran a study that concluded that children between the ages of eight and 18 are spending less time watching “regularly-scheduled TV” than they were five years ago. However, overall TV consumption in that age group has gone up. With an average of four hours and 29 minutes spent watching TV every day, young people split the time 56% to 41% between live TV, and TV that is time-shifted, online, mobile, or watched on DVD. That’s worth repeating: 41% of the television content this age group watches is not live TV on a TV set.
The second report comes from Magnus Global. The research firm finds that VOD growth continues to outstrip DVR growth in the US. In looking ahead to 2015, Magnus Global predicts that VOD will reach nearly 66 million US households, while DVR households are only forecast to hit 53 million by the same date. Unfortunately, coverage of the Magnus Global report (I have not found a direct link) does not differentiate between household access and actual usage, but the implied conclusion seems to be that growth in VOD viewing will continue to outpace growth in DVR viewing. The convenience of cloud TV is winning out.