Most people in Britain with a connected TV actually lead a very disconnected TV existence, reveals newly released insight from Kantar Media’s futurePROOF study of consumer take up and usage of digital devices and media.
As a platform, connected TV is now well established, but Kantar Media’s research highlights that fewer than one in five adults in Britain (17 per cent) have an ‘Internet ready’ TV set. Furthermore, connectivity is not a key driver of the purchase of Connected TV sets, with only seven per cent of adults owning a connected TV which they have actually connected to the Internet in some way.
Kantar Media suggests that motivations for purchasing connected TVs are largely focused on traditional drivers, such as screen size and picture quality, rather than connectivity. More than one in three adults (36 per cent) simply do not see the point of accessing the Internet through a TV set.
According to Kantar Media, a perceived lack of comprehensive content presents one of the major barriers to greater connected TV usage. There is also a general lack of awareness of the services that are available and the advantages of accessing them via a main TV set. For users of connected TV, functionality, having to use the remote as a web input device, the absence of some major broadcasters and the loading time of apps are all common complaints. But, it is the irritation of ‘buffering’ when trying to watch a show through the broadband connection that causes greatest disillusionment for Connected TV users.
Connected TV is seen most positively for services that harness the benefits of the living room setting. Kantar Media’s futurePROOF study reveals that four in ten people with a TV connected to the Internet have watched TV programmes or films on demand through it in the last month. Similarly, video-based content that exploits the large screen is a real draw. This includes accessing YouTube content (done by 53 per cent of connected TV viewers) and apps such as Skype, which can bring distant loved ones into the living room to be seen by the whole family.
Trevor Vagg, Director, Kantar Media Custom, noted that the qualitative research identified a clear desire in Connected TV households to make fuller use of the technology. “However, it looks like development of Connected TV will be more evolution than revolution with content availability, functionality and broadband speeds presenting significant obstacles to greater usage,” he suggested.
“Promotion of Internet video content that harnesses the strengths of the main TV and its setting will be key to growth, as will a more effective input device and a user interface that matches the user experience found on other web devices,” he added.
“Currently, the Connected TV user experience is, in many respects, analogous with the early days of WAP mobiles. The experience doesn’t match the promise of full Internet connectivity via your TV. But it will come. There is clear potential for growth if manufacturers and content providers can overcome consumers’ current frustrations,” he predicted.
The futurePROOF study is focused on adults (aged 16+) in Great Britain. Released bi-annually, it provides a snapshot of technology ownership and usage of digital media. A total of 2,062 people from Kantar Media’s TGI database took part via telephone. Fieldwork took place in February 2012. In addition, six in-home ethnographic interviews in Connected TV households took place in March 2012.