Connected TVs have reached a large majority of U.S. Internet homes, according to a new report from The Diffusion Group. The research firm found that nearly three out of four Internet homes in the U.S. possess an Internet-connected TV. The 74% penetration rate is nearly 50% higher than in 2013, when connected TVs were found in half of US broadband homes.
TDG said that penetration level places connected TVs in the so-called “late mainstream phase of its trajectory.”
As a result, year-over-year growth is slowing. Connected TV penetration increased 22% from 2013 to 2014, then 15% from 2014 to 2015, but only 4% from 2015 to 2016.
This pattern suggests the market is closing in on its natural saturation point for such services.
But are these sets plugged in? The NPD Group has said that more than 238 million installed devices will be connected to the Web to deliver TV streaming content from now until 2019, representing 59% growth. Connected TVs will account for 45% of that growth in the next four years, while streaming media players will comprise 35% of the growth. By the end of 2019, 43% of U.S .Internet homes will own at least one streaming media player, like Roku or Chromecast.
But many will turn to the connected set first. About 32% of over-the-top TV users would rather have connectivity on a smart TV than a separate device, according to TDG’s research. Game consoles were second at 25% of OTT users, with streaming devices third at 17%.
Smart TVs win top spot because of convenience: Users don’t have to switch to another device.