TV Ad Spending Nears Milestone, Even as DVRs Post Gains

April 23, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Both TV ad spending and DVR penetration posted gains in 2012, even as DVRs continue to be cited as a problem for TV advertisers.

MediaPost reports that 46% of homes are now estimated to have a DVR, up 9% from the previous TV season, according to an annual report from Nielsen. The research firm estimates U.S. ad spending in the television market in 2012 at $76.5 billion, up 6.5% from 2011.

“Without spending attached to an Olympics or federal elections, the growth rate likely won’t be as robust this year, but a less than 5% increase would still propel the total market beyond $80 billion,” the story reports. “Reality TV continues to deserve some credit. Last year, nearly 40% of all ad dollars were spent in prime time. While drama programming drew the most of any genre at $7.8 billion, the $5.6 billion spent in reality TV dwarfed the $2.7 billion for comedies.”

Nielsen also comes to the unsurprising conclusion that the higher a household’s income, the more likely it is to have a DVR — for homes with income of $100,000 or higher, DVR penetration is 70%; for homes in the $75,000-$100,000 range, penetration is 60%.

Penetration is growing fastest in households with income of $30,000 or less, where 25% of homes have DVRs, up almost 13%.

“If last year’s growth rates repeat themselves, about 60% of homes with incomes of $50,000 or more will have a DVR by the time new shows launch in the fall,” the piece reports. “Meanwhile, for all the talk about gaming consoles — Microsoft and Nintendo are marketing them as entertainment hubs — growth declined in the past year, albeit by only 0.2%. Data shows 45% of homes have one.”

Prime-time TV viewing is highest in the under $30,000 household income category, with an average of one hour, 23 minutes per night. In households with $100,000 and higher income the figure is slightly more than one hour.

The story adds: “Time-shifted viewing is growing in all income segments. The daily average rose from 21 minutes to 25 among the $30,000-$50,000 income segment — the most for any group.”

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