Virgin Media have released their initial findings on how people are using the new TiVo service now that subscriber numbers have reached 75,000 since the soft launch of TiVo back in December 2010, with 50,000 already installed. It seems as though it is already changing people’s viewing habits, certainly among the early adopters, as Virgin’s study shows that 25% of programmes watched in the time period did not originate from the EPG. This means that where, on almost any other digital TV service, you would normally go to the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) and choose a show in the case of TiVo a quarter of those people have found the show by a different search method. This can be by keyword, such as actor or director, and as you search the box brings up suggestions as you type, with typically just three clicks of the remote needed to find the desired show.
The top 10 search terms used by TiVo customers were;
- The Apprentice
- Doctor Who
- Desperate Housewives
The interesting thing about the top searches is that half of them are for programmes that don’t even appear in the top fifty most watched for that period, which suggests that TiVo customers are actively using the search function to find programmes they’ve been told about or read reviews on rather than browsing ther EPG for something to watch.
The web apps are proving popular too – 79% of all the TiVo boxes were used to access an app and each box launched apps on average 4.5 times a week. One thing that would really improve this side of it will be (and hopefully it’s a ‘will’ rather than a ‘would’) the introduction of a remote with a fold-out keyboard, as typing in a search term on YouTube using the arrows around the alphabet and the select key is not a good experience.
Finally the level of On Demand viewing has greatly pleased Virgin Media. They have a target of 1 billion On Demand views this year and in the first half there were 484 million, with 15% more in the 2nd quarter than in the first, so that target now looks very acheivable.
If you haven’t explored it yet check out our Virgin TiVo page or click below for more info the Virgin site.