Usage of laptops and smartphones is outpacing that of STBs and smart TVs in the connected living rooms of today, according to new global research from Irdeto.

The research reinforces a growing consumer trend of multi-screen usage and second screen devices becoming ‘first screens’, with PCs or laptops being the most used devices in living rooms in the UK (39%), followed by smartphones (36%), STBs (35%), tablets (32%) and smart TVs (19%).

Device ownership is a clear driver for this living room domination – the research found that PCs or laptops and smartphones are the two most frequently owned devices – and shows no sign of slowing according to device purchase intentions over the next five years. Unsurprisingly, in the UK smartphones are the devices people are most likely to purchase in the next five years (27%). This is followed by PCs or laptops (23%), tablets (18%), smart TVs (17%) and game consoles (9%).

“The traditional living room viewing experience is clearly evolving and will continue to do so over the next five years, further increasing the importance of a secure and compelling multi-screen offering for operators and OTT players,” said Richard Scott, SVP, Sales and Marketing, Irdeto.

“By harnessing the power of consumer insights, they will be able to tailor content and services to customers based on their changing viewing habits and device usage, and avoid losing customers in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

The research was commissioned by Irdeto and conducted online by YouGov among representative samples in each market, with over 5,000 adults in total taking part, to uncover trends in competition for the living room and consumer priorities.

The research was conducted in the UK, US, Singapore and Australia. Additional trends uncovered by the research are:

Security and user experience are the key demands: In the current climate, the security of devices is the most important consideration for consumers, with 89% rating the security of payment details stored on devices and the security of personal information as either very or fairly important. This was followed closely by user experience, with 82% identifying a good user experience from channel providers as important. 72% rated availability of channels as important, while only 53% consider the connected home a priority, rating the ability for devices to be connected with other appliances/ devices/ systems as important.

US millennials prefer streaming devices and dongles to STBs: Consumers aged 18-24 in the U.S. already have the lowest STB ownership levels of any age group (16% compared to the national average of 38%) and this downward trend is set to continue. Dongles that plug into TVs, such as Google Chromecast (5%) and streaming devices like Apple TV (14%) are more likely to be purchased by this age-group in the next five years, than STBs (1%).

Smartphones infiltrate the living room in Singapore: While smartphone penetration and usage is high in all markets surveyed, they are the most used living room devices in Singapore (56%) and the most likely device purchase in the next five years (49%). In contrast, only 36% of consumers in the UK, 32% in the US and 30% in Australia identified smartphones as the device they use most in the living room. Furthermore, only 27% of UK respondents and 33% in both the U.S. and Australia plan to buy a smartphone in the next five years.