Despite accelerating global demand for smart TVs, a new report from TDG forecasts that TV manufacturers will be largely unsuccessful in generating new revenue from these net-connected platforms. The report – Smart TVs 2012-2017: Connections, Use, and Portal Revenue – examines global diffusion of smart TVs though 2017, and explores the associated revenue models on which smart TV vendors are depending.
“Smart TVs appear to be the product category best positioned for connected in-home video entertainment,” notes Colin Dixon, Senior Partner and author of the study. “Who needs an Internet set-top box like Roku or Apple TV if the functionality is integrated directly into your TV, he asks
TDG suggest that appearances can be deceiving. Although smart TVs will diffuse widely in the next five to 10 years, as deployed television sets age, new apps and services will emerge that cannot be supported by the smart TV’s embedded portal. In fact, this is already happening, to the dismay of early smart TV buyers. This will inevitably drive consumers away from using their smart TV for net-to-TV purposes and toward less expensive devices such as net-enabled game consoles, Blu-ray players, and iSTBs. According to Dixon, consumers in search of the latest OTT features are much less likely to replace their $2,000 big-screen HD smart TVs – platforms with an eight-to-ten year life cycle – than they are to spend $100 on a new sidecar device with a two-to-three year life cycle and add it to their TV system.
Dixon also points to the dramatic consequences of platform fragmentation that today characterise the smart TV industry, and that frustrate advertisers struggling to decide which platforms to support and how to best integrate multiple outlets into their workflow. This issue alone will cost TV OEMs more than $1 billion in unrealised advertising dollars. When combined with gaps in the product upgrade cycle and the speed at which competitive ancillary platforms are leapfrogging smart TVs, TV OEMs are set to face significant challenges even as platform sales experience rapid growth.