Smart TVs Threaten OTT Boxes, But Data Still Valuable

Apple-TV-The growing penetration of smart TVs, gaming consoles and other technology could render over-the-top set-top boxes "obsolete." Still, multichannel TV providers' set-top box data continues to be a key attraction for TV advertisers.

These are some results from One Touch Intelligence (OTI), a Colorado-based market intelligence company, working for the Council for Research Excellence, a Nielsen-funded independent research group created in 2005.

Those OTT set-top boxes -- Apple TV, Boxee, Google TV, Roku, Slingbox for example -- haven't been selling well, and that's not a good trend. The report says: "Given the lackluster sales figures for some of these devices (Boxee and Google TV) and the quickly shifting sands in this market, it’s difficult to see OTT STBs moving ahead of gaming consoles or smart TVs in the minds of consumers."



Right now, the national penetration of new media devices is led by gaming consoles at 56%; DVRs at 44%; Smart TVs and Blu-ray players at a combined 22%; tablets, 14%; and over-the-top (OTT) STBs, 11%.

Another wrinkle could be the rollout of newer “network” DVRs by multichannel TV providers, where DVR storage is transferred from a set-top box to the "cloud."

"It would not only boost smart TV penetration, but also would drive DVR penetration from its current level of 44% to effectively match the same penetration as digital set-tops," the report notes.

One of the main goals of CRE is advancing audience measurement methodology, including usage and viewing of new media devices. Set-top boxes are virtually omnipresent among all multi-TV channel providers, representing about 90% of U.S. TV homes.

Patricia Liguori, senior vice president of research and electronic measurement of the ABC Owned Television Stations and chair of the CRE’s Return Path Measurement Committee, stated: “Both the buy and sell sides have the expectation, and rightly so, that all devices on which tuning occurs -- not just traditional television sets -- be measured and ultimately used as ratings currency."



1 comment about "Smart TVs Threaten OTT Boxes, But Data Still Valuable".
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  1. Tracy Hill from T. Hill Group, December 20, 2012 at 10:52 a.m.

    As an owner of both Google TV and Roku units, I believe that OTTs aren't selling because the manufacturers have been clueless. The same OS that powers Android mobile devices powers Google TV. However, while Androids are dominating the global market, Google TV was ill conceived and very poorly managed, thus sales have been horrible. The biggest problem for Google TV sales now is that people don’t know if Google has abandoned the product, because there has been complete media silence about whether there will be a version 2.0 of Google TV.

    Aside from that, they haven’t integrated Google TV with Androids (apps that would allow content to be sent to and from each device, etc.). One can’t even stream live YouTube webcasts on the Google TV app, even though it’s another Google product. Had Google used Youtube’s increasingly rich content as a sales driver for Google TV (and Androids) and for convincing web-connected TV manufactures to use the Android operating system, they would have been in a very good position with regard to creating a video ad platform that would work for consumers and ratings companies for measurement (as they have done with products like Adwords).

    Roku and Apple TV don’t have web browsers which prevents folks from viewing most of the content on the web.

    People buy OTT boxes because they may not want to pay a hundred bucks a month for cable - that rules out OTT boxes by cable providers for many folks.

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