Online video will continue to enjoy its place in the sun, especially as the connected-TV category grows. According to an April 2012 analysis by Leichtman Research Group (LRG), 38% of US households—roughly two in five—will have at least one TV connected to the internet in 2012. That is up from 30% in 2011.
By LRG standards, connected TVs include those hooked up to the internet through video game systems and Blu-ray players, Apple TVs or Roku set-top boxes. The category also includes internet-enabled “smart TVs,” which LRG indicated are steadily growing in number.
Connected game consoles are the most popular method for streaming—28% of households had an internet-connected game console during the study period. Only 4% of all households, however, had an internet-enabled TV set, or a smart TV. Set-top boxes like Apple TV and Roku were even less popular, present in only 1% of households.
Although many US households have been quick to adopt connected TV through game console streaming, a November 2011 study by market research company YouGov found that they trailed other markets in true “smart TV” adoption. Smart TVs were more popular in European countries and in the UAE. France led, with 18% of respondents owning smart TVs, while in the US only 9% of respondents owned them.
The connected living room will likely become more pervasive. Electronics companies such as Samsung, Lenovo and Philips are already bringing smart TV products to the market. Apple is expected to release a smart TV later this spring, which is likely to boost both category awareness and adoption. Although the category is still fairly nascent, marketers can soon expect new opportunities for reaching an ever-connected online TV audience.
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