Americans tap on-demand options in droves, finds Harris Interactive

American television viewers are taking advantage of the ability to break the chain of linear
TV viewing and watching their favorite programming on their own schedule, according to new data from Harris Interactive.

The findings show 78 percent of Americans have used the varied technologies that enable watching TV shows on their own schedules, with the top methods including on-demand services (41 percent made up of 34 percent of cable TV viewers, and 9 percent are satellite viewers); TiVo, DVRs or other recording devices (37 percent); Netflix streaming services (30 percent); purchasing, renting, or borrowing episodes or seasons on DVD (29 percent); and Hulu or Hulu Plus (22 percent). 

Of those who do so, 62 percent confirm they watch multiple episodes of a single TV show at a time, sometimes called "binge viewing."

Age plays a major role in taking advantage of these time-shifting viewing techniques. The Harris Interactive findings reveal that 89 percent of those between 18 and 29 years of age and 90 percent of those who are 30 to 39 years old are more likely to have watched programming on their own schedules. That compares to 78 percent of 40- to 54-year olds and 67 percent of those who are 55 years of age and older.

Having children under 18 years of age is a factor as well. Eighty-six percent of these American parents are more likely to watch on their own schedules than the 76 percent without kids.

The difference is largely driven by Netflix streaming content (40 percent with kids vs. 27 percent without) and Amazon online and streaming content (15 percent with compared to 9 percent without).

This data is part of a Harris Poll of 2496 adults surveyed online Feb. 13-18 by Harris Interactive. Full findings and data tables are available here.