A Myriad of New Ways to Watch Content on Your TV

by | Apr 17, 2017 | Blog, Market Research | 0 comments

Now that over 80% of households in the U.S. having broadband internet, TV-connected devices like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast are making inroads into traditional broadcast and cable territory.

But it doesn’t stop there. Not only are there more options for consuming content on our TVs, but we are also spending more time with these devices. This combination is having a direct impact on the way we view and engage with our TV sets, and it’s also changing the way media companies deliver their services.

Of course, no company has more experience than Nielson when it comes to amassing data on the viewing habits of consumers. And while it has been quietly updating its services to detect and report on all devices connected to the TV, it can now provide even more granularity—including the brands of streaming devices in connected households.

Uncovering the Penetration of Connected Devices in the Home

Recently, Nielsen released a study that revealed marketing treasure trove—a comprehensive report including how many U.S. households own various TV connected devices and how the movement is trending over time. The upshot? Today almost 1 in 4 of TV homes have purchased a digital streaming device like the Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, or Roku. But what brands are the most popular? Apple TV and Roku enjoy the most popularity in American homes.

Newer model smart TV’s function like multimedia streaming devices and they can be found in almost 30% of U.S. homes, an 8% increase from last year.

The story doesn’t change much when it comes to video game consoles. Nielsen found that 42% of U.S. homes owning a Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox, or Nintendo Wii.

Daily Usage

Nielsen didn’t stop at measuring device ownership. In addition to that base data, Nielsen also looked at how long users are engaging with their devices on a daily basis. In January 2017, 18% of homes used an Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, or Amazon Fire TV for an average of 15 days a month. What’s even more newsworthy, however, is that on days when they are using their devices, they engaged for an average of almost 4 hours using them.

Smart TVs now sport built-in broadband features and consumers are warming up to the new capabilities. In 2017, households are using their Smart TVs more than twenty days a month and spend more than two hours a day tuned in.

Video game consoles tell another story and were utilized by the greatest number of homes: 37 million, or 31%. The study also revealed that these consoles were in use more than 15 days a month and for more than 4 hours a day.


While we have seen trends of consumers trying to watch their content on different devices and platforms, the venerable TV set remains the first choice for the majority of consumers. Nielsen has proven that TV-connected devices provide a viable path to bring new content to the TV. As a result, both traditional media companies and streaming players are taking advantage of these new devices to provide the next generation of the consumer content experience.

  • Was this Helpful ?
  • Yes    No
Share This