Digital-video recorders (DVRs) were a thing for awhile. People used them to record live TV and keep up with all their cable channels. In the age of cord-cutting, it’s no longer as much of a thing.
For the first time, more US households have access to Netflix than DVRs, according to Leichtman Research Group’s 15th annual study of on-demand video. The research firm surveyed 1,200 US adults who lived in households with a TV set during January 2017.
Roughly 54% of US adults said they had Netflix in their homes during the month, including those who shared accounts, compared to 53% that said they had a DVR, it said. That’s a reversal from 2011, when 44% of TV households had a DVR and 28% had Netflix.
Viewers, it seems, had less of a need to record live-TV programming when they could access many of the same movies and TV shows at their leisure through streaming on-demand-services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Video.
According to the Leichtman survey, 64% of households had a subscription-video service through Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or Hulu, and about half of US adults streamed any of these services on a monthly basis. The survey also found that 23% of adults streamed Netflix daily, up from 6% in 2011. (At the end of 2016, Netflix had more than 90 million subscribers worldwide, with about 49 million in the US.)
DVRs are also usually associated with pay-TV providers, which have been losing reach. (That could change as new internet-TV entrants like YouTube TV offer unlimited DVR recording.) DVRs are still popular among pay-TV subscribers, the study found. About 64% of pay-TV customers surveyed said they had a DVR, compared to 49% in 2011.