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Most UK DVR Owners Skip Ads, Threatening DVD Sales: Ofcom

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Fifteen percent of UK consumers now have a DVR box and, when asked whether they skip ads in recorded programs, 78 percent of them said they always or usually do, according to British media regulator Ofcom. In the body’s fourth annual Communications Market report (a cornucopia of recent and newly commissioned statistical snapshots of UK media habits), respondents gave differing answers, however. When presented with a list of DVR functions (not asked specifically about ads), only 58 percent of users said they fast-forwarded through ads and only 40 percent of those do so regularly.

Either way, Ofcom notes, “it is evident that a significant proportion of DVR owners are limiting the number of adverts they are viewing”. Twenty-eight percent said ad-skipping was the main reason they recorded shows to DVR. DVR ownership is skewed by class (28 percent in A-B homes, 11 percent in D-Es) but is more prevalent in homes with children. In the UK, DVRs include Sky+, V+ and Freeview Playback.

Other findings:

DVD: A two-thirds majority of DVR owners prefer to record movies, prompting Ofcom to warn “one of the likely consequences of this could be an impact on the amount of time spent watching DVDs” (indeed, 28 percent of DVR owners report watching fewer DVDs).

Interactive: Latest operator data shows interactive TV revenue, including call-TV and red-button services, grew from £104 million ($206.7 million) to £123 million ($244.5 million) between 2005 and 2006.

Multi-play: Forty percent of homes now take a multi-play communications package (ie. mixing TV, broadband, fixed-line and mobile) – a third more than last year – and the majority of broadband is subscribed in this way. Some 1.7 percent of homes subscribe to HD TV, which only launched in May 2006.

Radio: Digital radio sales passed five million in Q1; 19.5 percent of adults now own a DAB set – eight percent up on last year – while 41 percent have listened via digital TV, 24 percent online and eight percent via mobile phone. Only five percent of mp3 player owners listen to radio podcasts.

For mobile-related findings, read this on MocoNews: Ofcom: Mobiles Eat Other Device Functions, But Mobile TV Take-Up Tiny