US connected TV penetration passes 60%

Joseph O'Halloran | 14-02-2014

Driven by services such as Netflix and Pandora becoming commonplace, more than three-fifths of US households now have at least one net-connected TV in their home, according to data from The Diffusion Group (TDG).

The universe of connected TV devices surveyed in Benchmarking the Connected Consumer, 2014 includes TVs connected to the Internet either directly as in a smart TV, or indirectly via ancillary net-to-TV devices like game consoles or Internet sticks such as Google Chromecast.

The 63% penetration revealed represents significant year-on-year growth from the 53% at the same period in 2013. Furthermore, among broadband households with a net-connected TV, average ownership is 1.6 units, meaning a large portion of users own multiple net-connected TVs. In fact, 42% of connected TV owners were found to have two or more such configurations.

Even though there was strong growth of Web-based services, the analyst warned that observers should not draw too many conclusions regarding a possible surge of cord-cutting. "Though broadband diffusion may be slowing as the market matures, the expansion of broadband-connected TVs continues at rapid clip, up 19% in the last year," noted Michael Greeson, TDG president and director of research.

"Whether net-to-TV video will somehow topple traditional pay-TV service models has been a red herring from the beginning The real debate is the extent to which the growing availability and expanding use of over-the-top (OTT) TV services will have on the time viewers spend watching traditional pay-TV given the growing array of sources at their disposal. While not a simple a zero-sum game, we are nearing or at that breaking point where the growing use of broadband-based sources simply chips away at time once spent using traditional sources. This is hardly a radical argument, and made all the more inevitable given these new findings.