Despite all of the options available to get one’s visual entertainment, television still is one of the most popular devices out there. According to new consumer research from Parks Associates, 20% of all U.S. households with broadband intend to purchase a new flat-panel television by the end of the year.
Among those households intending to buy a new TV set, nearly three-quarters plan to buy a TV with advanced features like 3D or built-in Internet connectivity, but they’re going much more for the latter than the former.
While the findings don’t necessarily represent the death knell for 3DTV (which has had trouble catching on with consumers), they do show that consumer interests lie elsewhere. “It’s definitely a reflection of consumer sentiment today that is much more highly geared to connectivity and its practical benefit; that is, greater access to content through services such as Netflix and others,” Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst at Parks Associates, tells Marketing Daily. “We’re actually seeing 3D and connected technologies built into a large number of televisions, so consumers are actually getting both capabilities. It’s just that online access to content resonates more strongly with them today.”
With prices coming down, more middle-class families are also getting into the game of buying these advanced TVs, Scherf says. According to the report, 20% of middle class households (those with annual incomes of $50,000 - $75,000) intend to purchase smart TVs this holiday season, compared with 12% of households with incomes about $75,000. Another factor: children. Families with children in the house were more likely to buy an advanced television than those without kids (17% vs. 10%).
But what’s good news for the television makers could be bad news for the content providers, specifically the ones bringing programming into the house. According to the report, consumers who intend to purchase a smart TV this holiday season are also more likely to cancel or downgrade their pay-TV service packages within the next year.
“Through services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and ESPN 3, consumers can find a growing number of television content through online outlets,” Scherf says. “As consumers consider their monthly expenditures and think about what content can be found via online channels, smart TVs and other connected consumer electronics present an ever-viable option for consumers to watch programming.”