Globally, the number of television households with Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) is projected to reach 337.6 million by the year 2018, driven by falling prices, and satellite and cable operators’ move to offer DVRs in bundled form along with other services. The time-shifting and ad-skipping capabilities of the DVRs are driving adoption among consumers, reports Global Industry Analysts (GIA).
Since the technology’s launch more than a decade ago, DVR market has been witnessing strong growth primarily driven by the increasing affordability of the devices. Though the DVR ownership rate was significantly less during the early 2000s, it has picked up pace in the past few years driven by declining prices of DVRs that allowed existing pay TV broadcasters to offer subsidies, while new entrants into the pay TV market could offer DVR as an option to attract new customers.
Falling prices have also led satellite and cable operators to offer DVRs in bundled form with other services, which contributed to their increasing popularity particularly among households that are traditionally sought after by the advertising community. DVR adoption has also increased in the past few years in view of the growing sales of hard-disk based gaming consoles that feature comprehensive DVR functionality. Operators are also encouraging subscribers to acquire DVRs, due to the high consumer satisfaction offered by the device and its critical role in enhancing user loyalty. However, the ability of DVRs to record popular programs has made it difficult for networks in some markets to launch new programs at peak periods, as viewers at that time are generally engrossed in watching shows that have been recorded earlier. DVR’s popularity has also raised concerns among the advertising community, due to the technology’s adverse impact on overall ad revenues. Alternate entertainment markets such as DVD rentals and sales are also threatened by DVR’s recording capability.
The US represents the single largest market in terms of number of DVR households. DVRs have revolutionised the manner in which in-view video is consumed, with growth registered even during the economic crisis. In fact, the adverse financial scenario has proven to be a blessing in disguise as more and more people were forced to stay at home and thus sought to indulge themselves through various entertainment modes. Asia-Pacific, although holding an edge over other geographies in terms of its vast population base, is characterised by low penetration of DVRs primarily due to its high cost. Also, digital TV competition in most of Asia-Pacific countries is either non-existent or weak, which in turn makes DVRs relatively expensive for most users. Within Asia-Pacific, Australia, Korea, New Zealand, and Singapore are the nations with highest DVR penetration with average of about 35 per cent. On the other hand, countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Philippines have the lowest penetration rates in the range of 5-7 per cent. The number of DVR households in Asia-Pacific is projected to reach 45.5 million by the year 2015.
In the DVR market, brand recognition, content availability, ease of use, pricing, and functionality are the key competitive factors. While TiVo and ReplayTV were among the foremost DVRs to be offered in the commercial market, presently the market also involves the participation of several cable, telecom, and satellite service providers, who either offer the DVR technology on their own, or depend on independent players for the technology. Major players profiled in the report include Arris, AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV, Echostar, Kabel Deutschland, Motorola Mobility, Time Warner Cable., TiVo, and Verizon.