Dow Jones Reports, Digital Video Recorder Still Not Catching On

Ellen Sheng is out with an article on Dow Jones Newswire today saying that according to market research firm Ipsos-Insight, although people are now very aware of DVR technology, people aren’t exactly rushing to buy them as quickly as we might hope. The article is below.

“The survey, released Tuesday, found that 77% of 1,000 respondents know about DVRs – an improvement from 70% a year ago. But only 8% of respondents said they are “likely” or “very likely” to get one in the next 12 months – about the same as last year.

This reluctance could mean that DVRs still have a way to go until they hit the mainstream. Generally, when a product is really catching on, at least 20% of customers will say they intend to get the product soon, the firm said.

“We expect it will be a few more years before this technology is as widely penetrated as DVD players or digital cameras,” Lynne Bartos, senior vice president at the firm, said in a press release.

TiVo Inc. (TIVO) might want to take note of the firm’s other finding. Of those interested in getting a DVR, the majority said they are opting for models offered by their cable or satellite provider. According to the survey, 44% of prospective customers say they will probably buy their DVR from a store, down from 68% a year ago.

“Aggressive campaigns launched by satellite and cable providers have likely helped these service companies,” Bartos said. More and more cable companies have made DVRs available to customers. As the cable industry matures, operators are depending more on revenue from new services like DVRs to drive overall growth.

Cable companies have been offering various DVR models from Scientific-Atlanta Inc. (SFA) and Motorola Inc. (MOT), usually renting them out for about $10 a

month. The biggest competitor to cable and satellite provider models is TiVo, which sells its ownboxes for at least $99. TiVo users also pay a monthly subscription fee of $13.

The study said price and perceived hassle were two of the biggest hurdles for prospective customers. Marketers need to reinforce the features and benefits of DVRs to convince consumers, Bartos said.

The study was based on data collected from 1,000 phone surveys in early Jan.”

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