Are consumers willing to be locked into one connected media device ecosystem?

The popularity of OTT SVOD has influenced the increase of connected media devices in consumers’ homes. In turn, connected media devices continue to change consumers’ TV/video viewing behavior by bringing a variety of sources of media and entertainment to the larger screen. From family TV night via broadcasted TV, to binge watching and content stacking via OTT SVOD services on a consumer’s individual time, content consumption is in the control of the consumer.

A new report from the Connected Home UX (CHX) group at Strategy Analytics exploring connected media device ownership has found that the accessibility to connected apps/services provides the convenience of on demand content and a more diverse breadth of TV/video to choose from; pushing consumers to watch more TV/video than ever before. From smart TVs to dedicated game consoles to portable dedicated streaming media devices, consumers are not just relying on one connected media device per household. Rather, consumers are turning to multiple devices due to costs, ease of use, UI and navigation, compatibility with other ecosystems and the apps/services/features available.

Ultimately this poses the question – are consumers willing to be locked into one connected media device ecosystem, or, will they continue to rely on multiple connected media devices to ensure a comprehensive and compelling media experience?

“While the idea of committing to only one connected media device ecosystem is appealing in terms of consolidation, ease and costs, the ability to do so requires the ecosystem to provide the ‘ultimate media experience’ – which, as suggested by our research, no devices on the market currently do,” commented Taryn Tulay, senior analyst and report author.

“A smart TV provides embedded apps/services and connected features but still lacks aspects that a dedicated streaming media device can offer, such as cheaper pricing, portability, ease of content mirroring and a simplified remote. However, the majority of consumers expect their next TV purchase to be a smart TV, particularly with the anticipation that most smart TVs will be less expensive by the time they consider purchasing a new one. With the cheaper price of dedicated streaming media devices, the benefits of having an alternative connected device that provides different value-added experiences outweigh the costs of purchasing one in addition to a smart TV.”

Diane O’Neill, Director, User Experience Innovation Practice, added “There is a definite opportunity to provide that comprehensive and compelling media experience consumers’ desire, in a single connected device ecosystem. The ideal connected device ecosystem will provide all critical aspects vital to not only the media experience, but also the in-home experience, in one hub, on the larger screen.”