Connected device tech support to hit $1.7 billion by 2022

According to Parks Associates, more than 30% of Internet-connected device owners report experiencing loss of wireless connectivity ...

According to Parks Associates, more than 30% of Internet-connected device owners report experiencing loss of wireless connectivity, identifying home network routers and streaming media devices most frequently as the source of the problems. The research house says the percentage of households with a technical support subscription has held steady at close to 20% for several years, but revenues from one-time support services in the U.S. are expected to increase to $1.7 billion by 2022 due in part to increases in the average number of devices, including smart home devices, in U.S. broadband households.

"Consumers generally don't want to pay monthly or annual fees, especially for technical support services, but as more people in the early majority acquire connected devices, it opens market opportunities for many different companies to provide premium support services," said Patrice Samuels, Parks senior analyst. "Many entering the space now provide setup and installation services, and there is a strong opportunity to provide network optimization services."

Parks estimates revenues from setup and installation services for computers, tablets, smartphones, home networks, and smart home devices will slowly but steadily decline between 2018 and 2022. Overall support revenues are expected to increase, though, thanks to growth in subscription and one-time support services.

"Many devices are optimized now for easy setup and configuration, so consumers don't see a lot of need for installation services," Samuels said. "Consumers perceive a greater need for professional support when trying to connect with home network routers, smart speakers, and other devices in the home. This will help drive revenue for one-time support. Among professional support services, revenue from one-time support will experience the strongest growth over the next five years, with a CAGR of 15% through 2022."

Other research indicates:

  • 14% of smart home device owners report experiencing problems in 2018. This represents a decline from 28% of device owners in 2016.
  • Nearly 60% of broadband households are willing to purchase a comprehensive subscription support service for $9.99 per month. Comprehensive subscription support services include services like setup and installation support, troubleshooting technical problems, and maintaining device security.
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