2012 UK smart TV sales set to hit 2.5BN as connected TV market makes big connection

Joseph O'Halloran | 15-11-2012

Showing just what can happen in the TV industry over only a few months, the UK smart TV market is set for a big switch-on leading to 2.5 billion of sales, according to a new survey by YouGov.

As recently as April 2012 the leading market research found a distinct lack of connection in the UK's connected TV market, with only a third of connected TVs in the UK bought for connectivity, only half of smart TV owners knowing what a smart TV was, and a quarter never using a smart TV to connect to the Internet.

Fast forward to the present and the analyst is much more optimistic towards the prospects of the industry, finding that over half (55%) of people in Britain have connected their TV sets to the Internet. This, says YouGov, demonstrates that consumers increasingly want to connect their main screens, a trend which it believes could drive a big increase in sales for smart TVs. Indeed the study found that just over a tenth of British consumers intend to purchase a connected TV in the next year.

Calculating the optimal price for a 32-inch HD smart TV based on the average amount this group is willing to pay as being 440, or 550 for a 42-inch version, YouGov projects that smart TV sales could be in the region of nearly 2.54 billion.

However, YouGov cautioned that before the market monetises so rapidly, for manufacturers and retailers hoping to sell smart TVs this holiday season, affordable pricing would be key. "The good news for smart TV manufacturers is that there is a huge appetite for accessing Internet services on TV sets, whether that be on-demand TV, radio, news apps, or video-calling services like Skype, " said YouGov media consulting director Dan Brilot, commenting on the study's findings.

"The bad news is that there are a lot of competing technologies out there that can be confusing to the consumer. However, our research indicates that the smart TV industry is starting to do a better job at communicating why their 'cutting out the middleman' device is the best choice in such a fractured market."