The newest evidence that smart TVs are here to stay comes from Leichtman Research Group, which found that 56% of American homes have a TV that connects to the Internet, more than double the 24% of homes that connected their TVs to the Web five years ago. That’s also a big jump from the 44% of homes that plugged in their TVs to broadband a mere two years ago.
This rapid growth trajectory underscores both the consumer interest in over-the-top viewing options, and the increasing ease in connecting a set to the Internet via gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, or over-the-top devices such as Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast.
A few years ago, routing broadband video through a TV was somewhat daunting to many consumers. These new figures suggest that any earlier consumer confusion around this process has quickly vanished.
The study also found that of those consumers who have connected their sets to the Internet, about half have multiple devices running through the TV. Specifically, 27% of U.S homes have a TV set connected to one Internet-enabled device, and another 29% have a set tethered to multiple devices, up from 17% who did so in 2013. Together, those two groups comprise the overall 56% figure.
Netflix, and the massive popularity of its streaming, has played a large role in driving this shift in consumption habits. That’s because 85% of video users streaming Netflix watch the service on a TV set. Also, many households are using their broadband living room set-up quite regularly. About 29% of adults who watch Internet-delivered video on a connected TV do so weekly, up from 17% in 2013 and 5% in 2010.