IPTV Up 10% Over 2016
The number of people in the U.S. who will use an Internet-connected TV device of one type or another is expected to rise to 168.1 million. Of that, Smart TV users make up nearly half, with 81.2 million users in 2017. That’s a sharp increase of 30.8 percent over last year—this is according to survey findings from eMarketer research firm.
“Essentially, more people are buying smart TVs than previously anticipated, which holds back demand for third-part connectivity devices,” commented principal video analyst Paul Verna.
Rising faster than expected, the actual number of smart TV users connecting their sets to the Internet has led eMarketer to dial down its forecasts for other types of connected TV devices with an expectation that fewer people will watch content from such secondary connected-TV devices such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV Sticks.
It should be noted that eMarketer cautions that some overlap exists in the market data as some end users and households use more than one connected TV streaming device.
Despite smart TV’s recent surge, growth in the use of other connected-TV devices remains robust, said the firm. It estimated that 38.9 million Americans will use a Roku device at least once a month, up 19.3 percent from last year. As a result, the Roku will capture nearly 23.1 percent of all connected-TV users. Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV follow in succession.
“As the only major market participant not affiliated with a content or TV device platform, Roku has used its neutrality to strike deals with a wide range of partners, including smart TV makers, over-the-top (OTT) service providers and social media companies,” said Verna.
“Apple TV devices currently start at $150, whereas Google, Amazon and Roku all sell streaming sticks that are priced well below $40,” said Verna. He goes on to say that Apple TV has been held back by the absence of a compelling content offering. They also opted to not support the increasingly popular Amazon video content.