More evidence today of connected TVs’ ascendance as a preferred viewing platform: Pivotal Research’s Brian Wieser released a new report revealing that 8.5% of all TV usage in July 2016 by 18-49 year-olds was through connected TVs (e.g. Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast). That was up from 4.9% in July 2015 and just 1.9% in July 2014 (Wieser didn’t share data prior to then, but it’s no doubt minimal).
Wieser said the share gain by connected TVs was approximately equal to the loss in viewing share of ad-supported cable and English language broadcast TV networks. For all households, connected TVs had a 5.5% TV viewing share, which was up from 3.3% a year ago.
Wieser’s data is just the latest showing the extent of connected TVs’ rapid adoption. In June, Magid shared results of a survey showing that 74% of respondents used a connected TV or smart TV vs. 59% the year before. And in April, Leichtman Research Group data revealed that 65% of U.S. TV homes have at least 1 connected TV in use.
The most important takeaway from the growth in connected TVs is that they are leveling the playing field in the living room with pay-TV, the dominant method for accessing TV-quality programming. The big beneficiaries have obviously been OTT services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, which specialize in TV programming and can now have their services enjoyed on the big screen in the living room by tens of millions of viewers.
Intuition would suggest that this dynamic would cause a material uptick in cord-cutting, as consumers recognize their shifting viewing and align their spending accordingly. Yet the most recent Q2 pay-TV data shows just a very modest increase in cord-cutting, meaning that the far more prevalent situation is that most consumers with connected TVs and access to OTT services simply continue to subscribe to pay-TV as well.
Whether they’ll continue to do so is a big open question. But one thing is for sure - with inexpensive, easy to use connected TVs now mainstream, their share of overall viewership is only going to further increase.
Topics: Pivotal Research Group