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TheStreet Open House

Americans Taking Advantage Of Ability To Watch TV On Their Own Schedules

NEW YORK, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Video on demand.  DVR's.  Streaming content.  Entire seasons of television shows collected in DVD box sets.  Americans' TV viewing habits were once at the mercy of network schedules, but now there are more ways than ever to watch shows on one's own schedule – and Americans are largely taking advantage of these options. 

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO )

Nearly eight in ten Americans (78%) have ever utilized the varied technologies that enable us to watch TV shows on our own schedules, with the top methods including on demand services (41% total, 34% cable, 9% satellite); TiVo, DVR's or other recording devices (37%), Netflix streaming services (30%), purchasing, renting or borrowing episodes or seasons on DVD (29%) and Hulu or Hulu Plus (22%).  And of those who do so, over six in ten (62%) confirm that they ever watch multiple episodes of a single TV show at a time, sometimes called "binge viewing."

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,496 adults surveyed online between February 13 and 18, 2013 by Harris Interactive. Full findings and data tables are available here.

Not surprisingly, age plays a major role in having taken advantage of such "own schedule" viewing opportunities, with Americans 18-39 (89% ages 18-29, 90% ages 30-39) significantly more likely to have done so than those ages 40-54 (78%) – who are in turn more likely to have done so than the 55+ set (67%).

Perhaps more notably, Americans with children under 18 in the household are more likely than those without to have done so (84% with, 76% without), with the difference driven largely by Netflix streaming content (40% with, 27% without) and Amazon online and streaming content (15% with, 9% without).

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