Rentrak vice chairman and CEO Bill Livek believes the difference between online video on demand and primetime linear TV is a lot like gap between cooking with a microwave and an oven – food tastes better in the oven, but “you can’t beat the speed.”
Livek, whose company makes its living measuring TV viewing habits, said at the Multichannel News B&C On Demand Summit here that consumers, in an effort to accommodate their busier lifestyles are making the trade off between watching commercials on the VOD platform for the convenience of merely clicking a button to watch their favorite shows when they want them. And the numbers back him up.
According to Rentrak, a bout 57 million households have access to VOD, up by about 2 million in the past year. More importantly, he said, time spent watching VOD has risen to 9.3 hours per month, a bout double the time spend just five years ago. How viewers spend their time is a key metric, Livek added, using the Fox hit prime-time show Empire as an example. Livek said that after Empire’s first five episodes, 83% of the viewing was done after day 3 of original air.
Toward the tail end of the season, more than 50% of the viewer-ship was done after day 5. “This is how VOD is changing the economics,” Livek said. “After the third day the majority of viewership is happening; in primetime, content with the Big Five [broadcast networks], five or seven days almost half of viewership is cumed up.”
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