The growing world of streamed and online entertainment — in combination with the regular replacement cycle — has led to a sharp increase in the sales of connected TV devices.
According to The NPD Group, more than half (52%) of all U.S. homes with Internet connections have at least one TV connected to the Internet (via Internet-enabled sets, video game consoles, Blu-Ray disc players or streaming media players), an increase of 14% over the same period last year, and a total of six million new homes.
“Anytime you’re able to reach 6 million new homes is significant,” John Buffone, executive director of Connected Intelligence at NPD, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s greater growth than we were expecting.”
Device availability and ownership are increasing along with the expansion of streamed entertainment, Buffone says, although determining which is causing which is a chicken-and-egg question. “We’re seeing both things rising concurrently,” he says. “And you need both for the market to grow. The market needed them both to happen.”
According to the survey of 5,000 U.S. consumers, the average U.S. Internet-connected household has nearly three devices in their homes that could be used for Internet-streamed programming. While the streaming phenomenon started with tablets, televisions have done a good job keeping up and remaining central to the entertainment experience, Buffone says.
According to the research, 66% of those with connected TVs use them for streaming, compared with only 29% of tablet users who use them for streaming (although Millennials skew higher for tablet streaming than older demographics). “People who own a TV with streaming apps are more apt to use them than tablets,” he says.
The increase is likely to continue into the future, as more people replace their current flat-screen televisions with ultra-high-definition TVs that generally are Internet-capable.
“The adoption of 4K TVs is enabling the adoption of connected televisions,” Buffone says.