Free VOD viewing up almost 25%

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 16 June 2015

The total time Americans spent viewing free on-demand (FOD) television content in the broadcast prime time category has increased 22% compared with 2014, and with 32.8 million more hours per month watched in Q1 2015 than 2013.

That's according to Rentrak, which said that broadcast transactions are up 19.8%, while cable series transactions are up 8.2%. The majority of prime time viewing on-demand happens after day three, with more than 50% occurring on day seven and beyond.

"Much has been written about the movement from TV to digital viewing, however Rentrak shows that while live TV viewing is slightly down, television viewership is largely unchanged as more viewership is occurring on DVR and VOD over 28 days," said Rentrak's corporate president Cathy Hetzel. "With 100% of all prime time series shows now available on VOD, consumers know that favourite shows will be available when they want to watch. The water cooler effect is also driving higher usage as consumers now have the opportunity to watch shows they hear about, from the first episode on."

Since Rentrak started issuing its report covering on-demand usage five years ago, time spent watching broadcast primetime VOD has doubled.

"It is no surprise that free on-demand continues to see growth," said Rentrak CEO and vice chairman Bill Livek. "On-demand is truly the ultimate engagement medium. No commercial avoidance for prime time content available on FOD makes on-demand one of the most effective platforms on which to target your most desirable consumers. Our recent 'Report' proves that VOD advertising should be sold at a premium price."