A new report suggests that TV watching via broadband is on the rise, while devices facilitating over-the-top viewing are gaining more traction. Parks Associates found that 31% of homes with broadband regularly watch TV online.
Meanwhile, nearly 13% of U.S. broadband homes have a device facilitating OTT, viewing such an Apple TV or Roku box. The research firm said holiday-season sales were robust, and it predicts 14 million units will be sold this year.
Parks Associates reported during the 2011 holiday period that 4% of households bought "one of these inexpensive, single-function devices" that enable OTT consumption from "Internet-based services, such as Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix." And it's not just younger viewers who may engage in cord-cutting.
Kurt Scherf, a vice president at Parks, stated: "Nearly 20% of these holiday-season buyers are over 45 years of age, so these devices have achieved relatively broad appeal among multiple consumer segments."
He added: "While this trend does not yet frequently equate to canceling pay-TV services, it can mean shaving some premium channels for a set of households."
That would be good news for Netflix, where CEO Reed Hastings recently suggested the company's biggest competitor is HBO. Netflix recently launched its first original series, "Lilyhammer," which it has begun advertising with the creative featuring star Stevie Van Zandt.
As Parks makes its forecast of about 14 million OTT units to be sold this year, it said Apple reported 2.8 million Apple TV units were sold in a fiscal 2011 period, with an additional 1.4 million in the holiday quarter, while Roku sold 1.5 million units in 2011.