NEW YORK: Television viewers who utilise video on demand (VOD) services to catch up with recent programming they have missed actually watch significantly more television overall according to new research.

The Q1 2014 Cross-Platform Report from researcher Nielsen found that people in VOD homes watched 20% more live television than non-VOD users, a total of 65 minutes of daily primetime compared to 54 minutes.

"VOD has come of age," declared Nielsen, pointing out that it was available in more than 60% of US households and was now a "legitimate choice" for consumers without a DVR or who had simply missed recording an episode.

Overall, recently telecast VOD (RTVOD) took up 3% of viewing time but this rose to between 4% and 5% in the 18-49 age group. While a similar proportion (3%) of the viewing of the non-Hispanic white US population came via RTVOD, the figures were much higher in other ethnic groups. Among African-Americans and Hispanics, RTVOD contributed 5% of viewing time while this rose to 8% for Asian-Americans.

Distinct differences were also evident in terms of the divide between live viewing and time-shifted viewing. Asian-Americans devoted only 52% of their time to live viewing, while for African-Americans the figure was 76%. Hispanics and whites sat between these extremes on 63% and 65% respectively.

Asian-Americans and African-Americans were also at opposite extremes in the matter of time-shifted viewing, with 40% of the former's time going here compared to just 19% of the latter's. Once again Hispanics and whites took the middle ground, on 32% each.

"The great news for advertisers looking to connect with viewers is that video-on-demand users of all ethnicities actually watch more TV – live or otherwise," said Dounia Turrill, svp/insights, Nielsen, adding that "viewers are making device and platform choices that have a profound impact on the meaning of television and video".

Nielsen's research further suggested that RTVOD viewers were more likely to have a higher income (above $100,000 a year) and to have a college education.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff