S&P Global: Smart-TVs Have Little Impact on Streaming Content Selection

Internet-connected televisions have become the default consumer option at retail and in the home. But do so-called smart-TVs impact viewer streaming vide choices? New data from Kagan would suggest not.

Approximately three-quarters of U.S. internet households own at least one smart-TV, according to the research firm’s Q1 2022 U.S. Consumer Insights survey. However, the ability to access online digital entertainment directly from a smart-TV has had virtually no effect on consumer TV viewing behavior, according to the survey data.

Smart-TVs are defined as televisions with an integrated TV application platform that permits access to online digital entertainment and related content directly from the device. Smart-TVs encompass both high-definition, or HDTVs, as well as 4K TVs and 8K TVs. Nearly all TVs currently sold in the U.S. are smart-TVs.

But owning a smart-TV does not appear to promote substantially more online video viewing. One-third of adults who own a smart TV (33%) and those that do not (31%) cite watching mostly or primarily VOD content. The survey data also shows that subscription video on demand (SVOD) represents 45% of daily video viewing among smart-TV owners; essentially the same as those without a smart-TV (42%).

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A comparison between smart-TV and non-smart-TV households reveals that both groups watch an average of over four hours of TV programming per day. Among households without a smart-TV, 60% reported watching primarily or mostly live, linear TV compared to 52% for adults owning a smart-TV.

Historical survey data illustrates the rise in smart-TV ownership in the U.S., expanding eight percentage points over the past two years to 74%. Approximately nine out of 10 (88%) of those owning a smart-TV reported accessing online digital entertainment from the device over the past month. The survey data also shows that the average number of TVs per internet household in the U.S. dipped slightly from 2.8 TVs per household in 2021 to 2.5 TVs in 2022, a result of declining ownership of traditional HDTVs, or non-smart TVs, and older standard-definition TVs.

As of early 2022, U.S. internet households owned an average of 1.2 smart-TVs, according to Kagan. Nearly half (45%) of internet households own one smart TV, and another 29% own multiple smart-TVs. Among surveyed internet adults owning a smart TV, 41% reported owning at least one Samsung smart-TV. Vizio and LG were distant competitors, with 19% and 18% of U.S. smart-TV households owning these brands, respectively. TCL and Sony top the long tail of smart-TV competitors with ownership shares of 11% or less.


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