No longer simply “the boob tube,” the notion of a smart TV is catching on with consumers.
According to IHS Screen Digest, more than a quarter of all televisions shipped in 2012 had so-called "smart" Internet connectivity capabilities, and the organization projects they will account for more than half of all shipments by 2015. In total, 66 million smart TVs shipped in 2012 (up 27% from the 52 million that shipped in 2011). By 2015, that number will reach 141 million units, and account for 55% of the market. Only a year after that, smart TVs will account for two-thirds of the total units shipped globally.
“Consumers are now increasingly buying big-screen TVs that include the Internet capabilities, even if they’re specifically looking for [those capabilities] or not,” Veronica Thayer, TV systems analyst at IHS, tells Marketing Daily.
While many television manufacturers are working on developing their own identifiable user interfaces for their smart TVs, the big growth could come from manufacturers striking partnerships with cable and satellite television providers, Thayer says. Currently, many of the television providers only exist on smart TV platforms via apps, but a partnership with television manufacturers would give these companies a greater presence on the device’s user interface once it is set up in the home.
Such partnerships are beginning to emerge in European markets, and it’s only a matter of time before they come to the U.S., Thayer says. For the television makers, these partnerships will help them differentiate their products from the competition, while they offer a way for cable and satellite providers to reduce costs and have greater presence among home entertainment options, according to Thayer.
"The inclusion of pay TV services in smart TVs is going to increase [adoption] even further," Thayer says. "Services that use an app within the smart TV are going to help the sales of smart TVs. But there is also a movement toward having the device’s user interface recognize your pay TV subscription."