Netflix penetration into U.S. homes surpasses DVRs

Netflix binge
Fifty-four percent of adults report subscribing to Netflix versus 53% who say they have a DVR.

Marking a major shift in U.S. entertainment consumption habits, the percentage of homes subscribing to Netflix has surpassed the percentage with digital video recorders, according to Leichtman Research Group.

The research company found that 54% of adults report subscribing to Netflix versus 53% who say they have a DVR. In 2011, only 28% of adult U.S. consumers polled by Leichtman reported Netflix usage versus 44% who said they had a DVR. 

Overall, 82% of polled consumers said they either have a DVR, subscribe to Netflix or use on-demand services from their pay-TV provider, with 30% reporting usage of two of these things and 14% reporting usage of all three. 

Leichtman also found that 64% of U.S. households subscribe to one of the three major SVOD services, Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu. 

The research company said 81% use their Netflix service on a TV set. Sixty-four percent of pay-TV subscribers said they have a DVR versus 49% in the 2011 study, and 60% said they have a DVR connected to more than one TV (up from 33% in 2011).

Sixty-five percent of cable and telco TV providers have used VOD from their current provider, and 58% of cable subscribers said they have used VOD in the past month (versus 42% in 2011).

"On-Demand and time-shifting TV services like DVR, VOD and Netflix have permanently changed the way that people can watch TV. Today, over 50% of households have a DVR and, for the first time in the 15 years of this study, over half of households have Netflix," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, in a statement. "Yet traditional TV viewing still exists. For example, 46% of adults agree that they often flip through channels to see what's on TV."