DVRs are computer-based systems that record and store TV programs for future viewing. They are largely used by consumers who want to watch certain programs at a time most convenient to them. The devices also allow users to fast-forward past commercials.
3 million DVRs
There are currently about 3 million DVR users in the U.S., said Josh Bernoff, vice president and principal analyst at Forester Research. TiVo said it has 1 million subscribers.
Nielsen has been criticized for its lack of DVR audience measurement capabilities. TV and marketing executives widely regard the increased use of digital TV devices as an important industry development.
According to a statement released by the two companies, TiVo and Nielsen will collect data on a permission basis, utilizing an "opt-in" panel that allows users to volunteer to be monitored. The new service will collect data on approximately 5,000 to 10,000 TiVo users.
The new service will offer second-by-second data on viewing patterns and trends, a TiVo spokeswoman said. The agreement between Nielsen and TiVo is separate from Nielsen Media Research's national and local TV audience measurement panels, the spokeswoman said.