Online Video Preferred Through Connected TVs
September 28, 2012

Americans Prefer TVs To PCs For Viewing Online Video

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

More Americans prefer to view online video content on their televisions than on their computers, according to the recently released “Digital Video Outlook” report from market research firm NPD Group.

According to the report, the number of Americans that used TVs as their primary screen for viewing paid and free video streamed from the Web rose from 33 percent to 45 percent during the past year. Meanwhile, consumers who used a PC as the primary screen for viewing over-the-top (OTT) streamed-video content declined from 48 percent to 31 percent during the same period.

“This shift not only reflects a strong consumer preference for watching TV and movies on big screen TVs, but also coincides with the rapid adoption of Internet-connectible TVs,” NPD said.

As of the second quarter of 2012, 12 percent of the installed base of consumer TVs in the U.S. were connected TVs -- more than 29 million devices, according to the report.

In other words, approximately 10 percent of U.S. consumer households now own at least one connected TV. Of those, 43 percent accessed online entertainment such as video, music and cloud services, directly from their TVs over the past year.

“The growth in connected TVs is another sign that online video is maturing,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis for The NPD Group.

Streaming video has moved from the dorm room to the living room; and, as more households obtain and connect TVs to the Web, we predict increased trial and engagement for video distribution services.”

Netflix Watch Instantly´ was the most popular application for Web-to-TV video over the past year, NPD said. Of those viewing online video on a connected TV, 40 percent streamed video via Netflix, while 12 percent accessed HuluPlus and 4 percent connected to Vudu, the NPD survey found.

Connected TVs represent a convenient alternative to computers and other peripheral devices. Nearly one in five connected-TV installations resulted in consumers no longer using peripheral devices, such as streaming media players, video game consoles, and Blu-ray Disc players, to access streaming video on the TV. This decline in usage could have negative implications for the usage models and utility of peripheral devices, NPD said.