U.S. Connected TV Market Continues Rapid Growth

A new study finds that nearly three-fourths of U.S. online consumers have internet-connected televisions and that the majority of TV-screen streamers actually prefer a paid model for their TV show and movie viewing.

The 2016 Magid Media Futures Video Entertainment Study from Frank N. Magid Associates finds that 74 percent of online consumers now have what’s considered a connected TV, up sharply from 59 percent reported a year ago. Video gaming consoles had until recently been the top device to bring streaming video to TVs. They now share the lead with the internet streaming device category (e.g., Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google’s Chromecast). Smart TVs are just behind video game consoles and internet streaming devices as a means to watch online video on the TV screen.

The report also found that TV shows and movies are the gold standard of premium content online. More of those who watch TV shows and movies online in the U.S. do so via a paid subscription (75 percent) than through free sources (68 percent).

“Streaming video-on-demand services have succeeded in creating an experience that is superior enough to non-pay sources that consumers are willing to pay for that experience to view their desired content,” said Jill Rosengard Hill, a senior vice president at Magid. “That experience entails great search capabilities, multiplatform access, and often an ad-free presentation.”

The growing usage of streaming video is closely correlated with the increasing availability of quality original content. Among a range of viewing options offered in the study, original SVOD programming stands out as the one consumers are most likely to take advantage of on a growing basis. Nearly 40 percent of these viewers expect to spend more time with this content in the next six months, compared with only 10 percent who say they will watch this way less often. Following closely behind original series in momentum is binge-viewing.

“Eight in ten of those who stream content to their TV watch original series from SVOD services,” said Hill. “That includes Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, along with a growing number of services like NBCUniversal’s Seeso. The momentum behind this content attachment tells us the rapid growth will only accelerate in the coming months.”