77% of U.S. smart TVs connected to the Internet

According to Parks Associates, more than 70% of U.S. broadband households now own at least one streaming entertainment product, and 50% own a smart TV. The research house ...

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According to Parks Associates, more than 70% of U.S. broadband households now own at least one streaming entertainment product, and 50% own a smart TV. The research house says 77% of smart TVs owned by U.S. broadband households are now connected to the Internet, an increase from 62% in 2014.

Parks surveyed 10,000 U.S. broadband households on ownership, purchasing, features, sizes, brands, and consumer usage of both smart TVs and basic, non-smart TVs.

"Manufacturers have invested in improvements to the app and user experience on their smart TVs and are being rewarded with higher connection rates, which keeps the user within their ecosystem," said Kristen Hanich, senior analyst at Parks. "Higher connection rates result in greater opportunity in monetizing the user base, which is increasingly important as manufacturers and software providers look to extend into subscriptions and ad-supported OTT video services, such as Samsung's new ad-supported video service Samsung TV Plus. We will see a lot of announcements at CES this year focused on delivering a superior user experience to keep consumers in their ecosystem."

The renewed focus on app development and user experience is particularly important as the younger generation ("Generation Z") starts to mature, as their preferences for entertainment delivery and consumption are markedly different from prior generations. Generation Z shows a strong preference for other forms of entertainment over watching TV programming, which is expected to represent a growing challenge to TV makers.

"Overall television ownership is beginning to decline, even as smart TV adoption grows," Hanich said. "Millennials and Generation Z collectively represent the largest segment of TV buyers, but their unique demands on the TV are forcing manufacturers to rethink the role and form factor of the TV set."

Smart TVs are the most commonly adopted streaming entertainment product type, and increasing adoption of OTT services has helped drive device purchases. Parks Associates says 72% of U.S. broadband households subscribe to at least one OTT streaming service, and 25% of U.S. broadband households purchased a TV in the past 12 months.

Other findings indicate:

  • 90% of U.S. broadband households own at least one TV set; 50% own at least one smart TV, while 40% own basic TV sets only.
  • 56% of recent smart TV buyers purchased a TV set with 4K video support - 33% owned a TV set with this feature in Q1.
  • Households with children purchase smart TVs at two times the rate of households without children.        
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