As time-shifted television viewing becomes increasingly popular, a new independent survey released today confirms that families with children are frequently using on- demand television services - such as video on demand (VOD) and digital video recorders (DVRs) - to more effectively manage their television viewing experiences, and that these services are having a positive impact on family viewing habits.
The national survey, conducted for Comcast Corporation by Horowitz Associates, Inc., found that VOD and DVRs are playing an increasingly significant role in the daily lives of families and their ability to control their family television viewing. Frequent users of on-demand services indicate that they watch more television as a family, have fewer conflicts about what to watch, and always find appropriate shows for their children to watch.
The survey - "The Role of On-Demand Services in Household Dynamics" - was conducted via telephone in December 2005, using a random sample of Comcast cable customers with children ages 12 and under from across the country.
Among frequent on-demand users (those who use VOD and/or DVR services almost daily or every day), the survey found that:
-- 85% of customers indicate they "always have appropriate shows available for their children to watch." -- 65% indicate that they "have fewer conflicts about what to watch on TV." -- 63% say that they "watch more television as a family." -- 56% believe that the service "helps them reduce the stress they feel from having to juggle their kids, family and personal schedules." -- 47% feel that VOD makes it "easier to negotiate with their kids about doing homework and chores without them complaining about missing their TV shows."
-- 78% indicate that the service "frees them up from being tied to a TV
schedule so they can watch shows whenever they want."
-- 69% say that they "pick up shows without missing any of them when
they get interrupted by the phone, the kids or chores they have to
The survey also showed that families who use Comcast's On Demand service daily are more likely to report that they have more control over their viewing experience than families who use the service monthly.
"At a time when most parents face hectic daily schedules, convenience is a priority, and time-shifted television brings that convenience home," says Page Thompson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Video Services for Comcast. "Even beyond the survey results, the use of kids VOD is off the charts. Last month alone, there were 19 million kids programs viewed."
Adriana Waterston, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Horowitz Associates, adds, "The results of this survey are really quite striking. VOD users clearly see the services as having multiple values for their families, and those values are reflected in their almost daily usage."
The survey found that families with children are using VOD and DVRs regularly:
-- 77% of frequent VOD users (defined as those who use VOD almost every day) watch kids' VOD programming "almost every day." -- 48% of customers with VOD watch kids' VOD "almost every day," while 72% watch on a weekly basis and more than eight in ten (85%) watch on a monthly basis. -- 48% of customers with VOD and DVR use their DVR service to watch children's programming they have recorded "almost every day," with 67% using the service to watch children's shows on a weekly basis and seven in ten (69%) using a DVR to watch on a monthly basis.
Comcast's VOD service offers about 7,000 shows that customers can choose from each month, including a vast programming library for children, as well as movies, sports, music and other popular genres. DVR service gives viewers the ability to digitally record and watch their favorite programs on their own schedule as well as the ability to pause and rewind live television broadcasts.
Two hundred telephone interviews were conducted in December 2005 among Comcast cable subscribers with VOD and who have children ages 12 or under. In each home, surveyors interviewed the head of household who stated that they were more aware of what everyone in the house watches on TV. There is a 5%-7% margin of error for the survey.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.4 million cable customers, 8.5 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.3 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming content.
The Company's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, OLN, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.
ABOUT HOROWITZ ASSOCIATES, INC.
Horowitz Associates, Inc. is a market research and consulting company based in Larchmont, New York. The company conducts custom research and consulting for clients in broadband and new media, including cable television, telecommunications and the Internet. In addition, Horowitz Associates publishes a variety of annual industry studies including State of Broadband Urban Markets(TM), Bundled Services(TM), State of Digital and Interactive Television(TM), FOCUS: Latino(TM), FOCUS: African America(TM) and State of Cable and Broadband(TM). More information about Horowitz Associates is available at http://www.horowitzassociates.com.