At least 21 per cent of US households (approximately 27 million) have either an Internet-ready TV, game console, standalone Blu-ray player, and/or smart set-top box connected to their home network, according to findings in the study – Connected Home Devices Market Data – from ABI Research. Of these four device categories, the game console is the most used device, reaching over 80 per cent of these connected TV households, followed by Internet TVs (27 per cent), standalone Blu-ray players (24 per cent), and smart set-top boxes (13 per cent).
“Game consoles got an early lead in the connectivity space when Microsoft’s Xbox 360 launched in late 2005. Multiplayer gaming, along with the attention devoted to features outside of gaming from all three key console manufacturers, Microsoft and Sony in particular, have helped catapult the game console to the top of the connected CE space,” noted senior analyst Michael Inouye.
In total, nearly half of US households have at least one current generation game console, while almost 16 per cent has an Internet-ready TV, a base similar for standalone Blu-ray players (smart set-top boxes comes in at under five per cent). Considering the aforementioned connect rates, the research firm suggests that it is clear that a relatively large number of consumers have not connected some of these devices to the network, most notably Internet-ready TVs. Looking out to 2017, the penetration rates are expected to exceed 60 per cent for game consoles, TVs, and Blu-ray players, and while not all of these devices will be connected, there is certainly room for growth, as only 48.5 per cent of consumers with a home network currently have one of these devices connected to the Internet.
“As CE manufacturers increase the value proposition by adding new services and features to these connected devices, the connect rate will certainly climb. This in turn will lead to an increased amount of time spent on these devices, but currently ABI Research does not anticipate a significant shift away from traditional pay-TV services, although it is possible these devices will contribute to limiting pay-TV’s growth potential,” Inoue advised.