The power of streaming the content you want, when you want it on the device you prefer is not to be underestimated. It’s been a sea-change in how people consume content, and that has led to a shift in the hardware that people use. With Netflix outstripping digital video recorders (DVRs), we have to question how much longer companies will manufacture those devices, which could be problematic for Tivo, a company that has already been contending with built-in DVR functionality inside digital cable set-top boxes. With Google set to unveil a TV streaming service with DVR functionality in the Cloud, it’s looking more and more like the only streaming hardware we may need will be smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs…. no good for all that cable set-top box subscription fee revenue at Comcast and others. Technology evolution…. a great tailwind for some, and a painful headwind for others.
Netflix has hit a new milestone: More U.S. television households now have the streaming service than a digital video recorder, according to a recent study.
About 54% of U.S. adults said they have Netflix in their household — while 53% have a DVR, according to Leichtman Research Group’s annual on-demand study. It’s the first time that households with Netflix (including those that use shared accounts) have surpassed the level of those with a DVR in the history of LRG’s studies. In 2011, according to the research firm, 44% of TV households had a DVR and 28% had Netflix.
Netflix has now eclipsed DVR usage despite the latter having a years-long head start. TiVo’s first digital video recorder shipped in 1999, while Netflix debuted its video-streaming service in 2007 and started the shift away from its DVD-by-mail business. As of the end of 2016, Netflix had 49.4 million streaming subscribers in the U.S., up 10.5% year over year.
Overall, 64% of respondents said they get a subscription video-on-demand service from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and/or Hulu.