I had an interesting session with selected members of the UK public to discuss the ways their TV consumption has evolved thanks to ownership of a Personal/Digital Video Recorder (PVR/DVR), such as Sky+ or TiVo.

Disruptive to the traditional linear model of broadcasting via the schedule, the PVR is part of a growing trend of ‘Me, Me, Media’ – what you want, when you want it and on what device you want it.

Here are some of the takeaways:

  • They skip nearly all advertising
  • Despite the predicted demise of the ‘hit’ in Chris Andersen’s thought-provoking Long Tail book and blog, their viewing is structured around hit shows: Lost, Match of the Day, Spooks, soaps…
  • By more actively selecting their media consumption, TV is less of a background medium. They pay more attention and are more loyal to their top shows.
  • However, they still like to watch certain live events as they happen: Big Brother, live sport, charity events…
  • They buy less TV DVDs thanks to the ability to ‘subscribe’ to a whole series
  • They still channel surf, just not as much as before

While I wouldn’t claim that the sample is representative of the whole segment, much of what they said rang true for me in terms of people’s changes in media consumption. As this segment becomes increasingly mainstream, the implications for broadcasters and advertisers alike are clear in that they must evolve in line with their audiences or risk becoming increasingly marginalised.