New Zealand consumers, driven by increasing demand for video streaming services, are now a global leader in the adoption of Smart TVs, according to a report from IDC Research.
IDC’s 2018 IDC ConsumerScape 360 study reports that New Zealanders now own an average of 4.20 electronic devices, of which 77 per cent are “smart devices”, up from 67 per cent in 2017.1 Smart TVs are now increasingly pervasive in New Zealand homes — they are the third most used smart device behind smartphones and laptops. With an adoption rate of 44 per cent, New Zealand comes second only to South Korea in Smart TV adoption, and above the worldwide average of 39 per cent.
At the same time, the adoption rate for 4K TVs in New Zealand has doubled to 20 per cent in the past 12 months, slightly above the worldwide average of 19 per cent. However, less than half of 4KTV buyers in New Zealand say that the 4K capability influenced their purchasing decision.
Alex Yuen, IDC New Zealand market analyst for client devices, says this suggests that over half of New Zealand consumers purchased 4K TVs for their inbuilt “smart” capabilities, rather than the 4K picture quality.
“It is a testament to New Zealander’s tech savvy that both Smart and 4K TV adoption rates now exceed the worldwide average. It reinforces the underlying trend we have seen in recent years, where New Zealand’s overall digital uptake has been steadily growing, to the point where it has reached global parity, and is now quietly exceeding other countries in many areas,” says Yuen.
According to the IDC, a major factor driving Smart TV adoption has been New Zealand’s growing thirst for online video streaming services. In 2018, 33 per cent of New Zealanders were streaming online video, up from 26 per cent in 2017. The worldwide average for online video streaming is now also at 33 per cent. In previous years, New Zealand had trailed worldwide adoption by an average of 3 per cent. This increase further highlights the convergence of New Zealand with worldwide consumer preferences says Yuen.
“High-speed connectivity is increasingly important as the delivery backbone of high-quality entertainment. Our research shows that subscribers to online video streaming services are more likely to own a Smart TV, as well as a smartphone. The combination of these two devices allows consumers to access to their favourite shows anywhere they have a connection. These same subscribers also value smart capabilities more than the average consumer. They are more likely to want the best entertainment experience and more likely to spend to attain it,” said Yuen.
According to Yuen, the silver lining for both hardware vendors and online video streaming providers, is that Smart televisions will become the new normal as adoption grows, and that online video streaming will steadily replace linear television.
“Hardware vendors can get ahead by articulating the value of connectivity between their televisions and other smart devices to their potential customers, while online video streaming providers should pay more attention to delivering a better television experience,” says Yuen.