Sales of digital video media receivers, including Apple TV and Roku, were strong in the recent holiday season, with penetration approaching 13 per cent of US broadband households and matching the 2011 forecasts from the international research firm Parks Associates.
The firm forecasts over 14 million units will sell in 2012, noting that the strong device sales indicate increasing consumer interest in non-traditional approaches to video access. Value of Video: Shifting Consumer Dollars, a recently conducted consumer survey, reports 31 per cent of US broadband households regularly watch TV programmes or movies accessed from the Internet on their TVs.
“In the 2011 holiday season, four per cent of households bought one of these inexpensive, single-function devices, which enable households to view over-the-top (OTT) video from Internet-based services such as Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix,” said Kurt Scherf, VP, principal analyst, Parks Associates. “Nearly 20 per cent of these holiday-season buyers are over 45 years of age, so these devices have achieved relatively broad appeal among multiple consumer segments.”
Apple reported 2.8 million unit sales of Apple TV in its fiscal 2011 and another 1.4 million coming in the holiday quarter. Roku also enjoyed a solid 2011, with 1.5 million sales, advises Parks Associates.
“While this trend does not yet frequently equate to cancelling pay-TV services, it can mean shaving some premium channels for a set of households,” Scherf said. “That is a risk that pay-TV providers must address and a trend that both manufacturers and content providers are following with eagle eyes and plans for defensive actions,” he noted.