Consumers Turn to Connected TV Devices to Access Content

The total number of homes that have a connected TV device is up to 46 million, a four million home increase from the second quarter of last year.

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The consumer electronics industry reached a milestone in the second quarter with half of U.S. Internet homes now owning a connected TV device, according to a report from NPD Group Connected Intelligence.

The figures include connected TVs, video game consoles, streaming media players, and Blu-ray disc players that consumers connected to the Internet, allowing them access to apps such as Netflix and Hulu.

The total number of homes that have a connected TV device is up to 46 million, a four million home increase from the second quarter of last year, the report found.

"Usage is the most important indicator of satisfaction as consumers tend to use what they like and abandon what they dislike," John Buffone, executive director of Connected Intelligence, told eWEEK.

Buffone said there are two key statistics that demonstrate consumers are becoming more satisfied than in the past. The first is that the rate of connecting their Internet capable TVs to the Internet has increased from 45 percent to 69 percent in the past two years. Secondly, compared to a year ago, a larger percentage of connected TV and attached content device users reported viewing programming from all of the top five streaming video services.

A primary driver of this growth has been the success of the smart TV industry--45 percent of TVs sold in the U.S. during the second quarter supported apps, up from 34 percent last year and 24 percent two years ago.

The report also found that as more app-ready TVs enter homes, the rate of consumers actually connecting these displays to the Internet also increased.

In the second quarter, 69 percent of all installed Internet-capable TVs were connected, up from 61 percent last year and 45 percent two years ago.

"To date connected TVs have been successful at delivering viewers streaming video," Buffone said. "And, aside from streaming music, no other application has resonated with consumers. We expect to see near-term investments focused on enhancing and monetizing the streaming video experience with enriched user interfaces, voice control, and ad insertion."

As of the second quarter of 2015, Netflix remained the most commonly used video service among homes with connected TVs, followed by YouTube, Amazon Prime/Instant Video, Hulu and HBO GO/NOW.

Compared to Q2 2014, more connected TV users reported using each of these services, with HBO’s commitment to an over-the-top footprint with their GO and NOW platforms resulting in them being the first TV network to reach the top five ranking, displacing Crackle.