According to The NPD Group Connected Home Report, as of the fourth quarter of 2014 there were 22 million connected TVs installed and accessing the Internet, a significant increase from 13 million one year ago. Ownership of Internet connected TVs is now more common than Internet connected Blu-ray Disc players, of which U.S. consumers own 20 million, says the report. Video game consoles and streaming media players, however, are still the most used TV app platforms and rank number one and number two respectively.
Frequency of US TV Viewers Watching TV Shows Accessing On-Screen Apps (% of Respondents; Ages 16-74; Have Smart or Connected TV)
Frequency Viewed With App
% of Respondents
At least once a week
Several times a month
At least once a month
Source: HUB Research, November 2014
Smart and connected TVs allow users to watch shows by accessing branded apps on the screen, and November 2014 polling by HUB Research found that there was demand among users for such services. Of more than 1,000 US TV viewers ages 16 to 74 who watched at least 5 hours of TV per week and who had a smart or connected TV, one-third accessed TV shows via on-screen apps at least once per week, with more than four in 10 of those respondents doing so daily. Nearly one-quarter of owners viewed television content this way at least once or several times each month.
The proliferation of connected TVs will be positive for viewers and digital content distributors alike, as access to streaming programming will reach more homes and more of the TVs in each home. By 2017, there will be 47 million connected TVs within 30 million U.S. Internet homes delivering content through apps, according to the Connected Intelligence Connected Home Forecast Report.
Increasing connected TV usage and on-screen app access reflects consumers’ growing desire for on-demand TV content, says the report. In February 2015, HUB found that 53% of US TV viewers’ time spent watching TV was timeshifted. In addition, in October 2014 research by Ipsos, 46% of US internet users said they watched video-on-demand weekly or daily.
eMarketer estimates that this year, 138.8 million US consumers, or 54.1% of internet users and 43.2% of the population, will access the internet through a connected TV at least once per month. In addition, they forecast that the number of US smart TV users will reach 58.5 million this year, representing 22.8% of internet users and 18.2% of the population.