Parks: 40% of Broadband Homes Have Tried OTT Video During Pandemic

Homebound consumers due to the pandemic contributed to 40% of U.S. broadband households trying at least one OTT video service during the COVID-19 crisis, while one-third of smart home device owners have increased usage of these products, according to new data from Parks Associates.

The Dallas-based research firm’s whitepaper “2021 Consumer Tech Trends to Watch” highlights some of the biggest announcements from CES 2021 and the technology trends Parks’ analysts believe will shape 2021.

“CES 2021 saw the traditional TV market leaders like LG, Sony, and Samsung redoubling their efforts to differentiate their sets in the face of extremely aggressive competition,” senior analyst Paul Erickson said in a statement. “This new competitive environment has forced all CE market leaders to innovate in new ways, with new visual designs and [artificial intelligence] features.”

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Parks contends major TV manufacturers are looking beyond upgrades in display technology and performance to differentiate from competitors and add value to the home entertainment experience through services such as cross-platform gaming, exclusive streaming content, and even in-home fitness training.

Many product lines are looking to leverage the spike in OTT usage — subscriptions and viewing hours have increased and subscription rates for OTT services have risen from 71% of all U.S. broadband households to 78% in Q3 2020.

“As audiences remain in lockdown and COVID-19 continues to impact original content production schedules, library content continues to dominate in the streaming wars,” said research director Steve Nason. “Entertainment companies are looking for strategies to retain these new subscribers and emulate the live entertainment experience at home.”

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