What was or is your favorite appointment TV show? Maybe back in the day for you it was M.A.S.H. or even the A-Team. If you were lucky enough to have a VHS, sometimes you would tape your favorite show. But let’s be honest, your favorite show was an appointment written in ink into your family calendar. As you are probably well aware, the times – they are a’changing. But how much so?
As a television commercial buyer, appointment TV was always an important factor in paying premium rates for those select programs that qualified. Today, there are less appointment television programs than ever. This has been impacted by various technologies that enable viewers to select when and where they watch TV.
The Harris Poll released research results early in April. It revealed that 78% of Americans have viewed TV shows on their own time. The top technologies utilized include:

  • 41% on demand services
  • 37% TiVo, DVR or other recording device
  • 30% Netflix streaming services
  • 29% DVDs either purchased, rented or borrowed
  • 22% Hulu or Hulu Plus


The research shows that these “watch television shows on your own time” technologies are accepted regardless of age.

  • 18- 29 years old 89%
  • 30-39 years old 90%
  • 40-54% years old 78%
  • 55+ years old 67%


However the preferred technology chosen does vary by age group.
71% of 18-29 year old viewers have watched TV shows on Hulu/Hulu Plus/Netflix, as have 60% of 30-30 year old consumers. While On Demand is most often used by 40-54 and 55+ (41% and 35%) with Tivo, DVR or other recorded device is close second (40% and 36%).
Also included in the report: among those who do watch TV shows on their own schedules, 62% of them “binge view,” which is watching multiple episodes of a show back to back. Binge viewing most often occurs while watching on a television (73%). While computers follow at a distant 22%.
What the significance? For marketers, it is another illustration the consumers are in charge of how, where and from whom they chose to receive information and entertainment. Some of these platforms are ad-free: therefore not reachable to advertisers. The trend continues–fragmented audiences continue to increase.

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