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Industry News

Your Fat, Happy DVR


April 3, 2013

A new study by Motorola recently revealed some interesting trends about multi-screen and time-shifting technology and highlighted our voracious appetite for video on every device, platform and location available.  This is the kind of data that we love to sink our teeth into.

One interesting nugget that the study revealed was that 41 percent of content recorded on digital video recorders in the U.S. is never watched, suggesting that we are “the most wasteful content marketplace”. This may at first sound tragic, but it really isn’t and is probably best categorized under the “first world problems” complaint banner.

Some coverage of the report implied that there is a something wrong with unwatched content – a sign that we’re not taking full advantage of our technology and TV options. But if you think about it, unwatched DVR content really is a product of the technology and programming working so well that you have TOO much to watch.  This isn’t something that we should spend our time fretting over.

From the Motorola report

From the Motorola report

DVR users record content for several reasons. The most common is time-shifting (recording a show to watch later) but it could also be to skip commercials (not that we encourage that!). Another use is to horde and binge view, thus effectively collecting a “box set” of a particular show. And believe it or not, some people record in order to search for “gold”, or very short bits of awesome, funny, stupid, or just ridiculous content that they collect and share with friends. And of course, some DVR live sports games in order to rewind and re-watch an amazing play (or gruesome injury) in slow motion.

With cable offering you countless HD channels, award-winning programming, live sports, hit movies and on-demand options to watch anywhere, anytime on any screen (not to mention the Internet and voice services that might also take up a chunk of your time) – it’s no wonder our DVR’s are filling up. It’s not a sign that you’re wasting content and technology; it’s a sign you’re working to take full advantage of it!

In today’s dynamic media landscape there is so much content competing for time and attention. And users’ appetite for content control at their fingertips continues to grow. Consumers love, and expect, the flexibility to watch (or not watch) anything, anytime. In fact, 29 percent of the TV American’s watch is recorded, not live or streaming1.

With so many reasons to record content, and so much content to record, we encourage you to keep watching those shows, keep recording those favorites, and fill up your DVRs. That’s what they’re there for!





1. Motorola. (2013). Mobile Devices and DVRs Shifting Global Media Consumption [Press release]. Retrieved from