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Although one in ten (10 per cent) of UK homes already own a Smart TV, only a further four per cent intend to purchase one at some point in the next 12 months, according to YouGov research. Over one half (52 per cent) say they definitely won’t purchase a Smart TV, while one quarter (25 per cent) are unsure or don’t know, and seven per cent are unaware of them.
Smart TV ownership in the UK is comparable to the US (9 per cent) and Germany (11 per cent) with France leading the way by far with the highest penetration at 18 per cent (see chart).
A significant obstacle for Smart TV take up is that consumers can already connect to the Internet on their TV via other devices such as games consoles. For example, 15 per cent of the UK population own a Microsoft Xbox 360 and 13 per cent own a Sony Playstation 3 – devices that can do exactly this via their internet connectivity or third party services such as LoveFilm, 4OD, YouTube and iPlayer.
Affordability is certainly a key issue for respondents in the UK, with 28 per cent of those who aren’t sure if they will purchase or won’t be purchasing a smart TV claiming that the ability to pay in instalments (at a good rate) would encourage them to purchase a Smart TV. However, the availability of content could be a key future driver of adoption with just over one third (36 per cent) of respondents aged 18-24 claimed that they would be encouraged to purchase a Smart TV set if more of the TV content they normally watch was available on the internet.
By comparison, in the US 44 per cent of those who aren’t sure or won’t be purchasing a Smart TV said nothing would encourage them to purchase one.
Commenting on the findings, Dan Brilot, Media Consulting Director, YouGov advises: “There can be no burying of heads in the sand. This uncertainty and confusion amongst consumers about the technology is clearly an obstacle for manufacturers who will have to raise awareness of their product’s capabilities if Smart TV’s are to become as ubiquitous as Smartphones. It will be even tougher if the games console industry starts educating consumers about their products’ internet capabilities, particularly when the third (34 per cent) of British consumers who already own a Nintendo Wii will be able to access TV services like Netflix through their devices as their US counterparts already can”