Streaming Video Subscriptions Are Now Just as Popular as DVRs

Streaming video subscriptions are now just as common in U.S. homes as digital video recorders, according to new research from Nielsen.

Half of U.S. TV households had a subscription-based video on demand service such as Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime in the first quarter, on par with the number of homes that have a DVR, according to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Research report.

The prevalence of streaming services among U.S. households has been steadily increasing for more than a year, up more than 9 percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2014.

In contrast, the percentage of households with access to a DVR has stayed roughly the same at around 50% for about a year and a half, according to Nielsen’s data. The percentage of homes that have access to both an SVOD service and a DVR rose more than 4 percentage points to 28.8% in the first quarter compared with the prior-year period.

Streaming video services have gained traction among consumers who want to watch their favorite programs when and how they want, prompting some viewers—many of them younger—to eschew traditional live TV.

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