Apps are increasingly popular with owners of Smart or Connected TVs, but they are only using apps they are already familiar with, according to a study carried out by the Strategy Analytics Digital Home Observatory. The research found that the most popular apps were Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora and iPlayer. By contrast, usage of a wide range of other apps, including Facebook, was extremely limited and they were generally perceived to be lacking in value and functionality.
“Surprisingly, most owners of connected TVs do not seem to have been particularly interested in apps when they bought the TV originally,” says Caroline Park, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics. “But when they find they can access media apps which give them more control over their video viewing, these often become the most important function.”
Park continued, “While apps users tend to gravitate quickly towards apps they are already familiar with from using a PC, tablet, games console or smartphone, they see little reason to explore or investigate what other apps are available, and if they do, they are usually disappointed at the experience.”
“The industry seems to have forgotten it has a selling job to do,” notes David Mercer, VP, Digital Consumer Practice. “Major consumer electronics players like Samsung and Sony have put a lot effort into developing connected TV platforms, but many consumers are unaware of their capabilities, even after they have bought the device. A lot more work needs to be done to demonstrate the power of smart TV in order to improve the viewing experience.”