20% of TV sets Internet-connected by 2016

The number of TV sets connected to the Internet will reach 551 million by 2016 for the 40 countries covered in a new report from Digital TV Research (DTVR), up from 124 million at end-2010. According to the Connected TV Forecasts report, this translates to 20 per cent of global TV sets by 2016, up from only six per cent at end-2010.

Despite this rapid growth, only 8.9 per cent of global TV sets will be connected to the Internet by 2016. However, this is up from a mere 1.4 per cent at end-2010. Proportions will vary considerably from one country to the next, with South Korea the market leader in 2016 (boasting 15 per cent penetration).

The gross proportion of TV households with a connected set will be 43 per cent by 2016, up from 11 per cent in 2010. According to report author Simon Murray, these are gross figures, as it is possible that one TV household can have several sets connected to the Internet. “For example, a TV household could own a connected TV set, and may also have a connected fixed games console. This report identifies five different ways by which a set can be connected to the Internet – and one form of connection does not exclude the other forms,” he explains.

Noting that there are several ways by which a TV set can be connected to the Internet, DTVR advises that the most popular at present is via the fixed games console (Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox), which accounted for 79 million of the end-2010 total.

However, sales of connected TV sets (with a built-in Ethernet connection and, increasingly, widgets/applications) are taking off, especially as retail prices are beginning to fall. Soon most sets on sale will have the ability to connect to the Internet (though not all homes buying these sets will hook up to the Internet).

There were 31 million installed connected TV sets by end-2010, with DTV predicting this number will rocket to 244 million by 2016. The number of connected TV sets will exceed the number of connected games consoles by end-2012. Nearly a fifth of TV households will have a connected TV set by 2016, up from only 2.6 per cent at end-2010.

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