Research: Consumers missing out on advanced TV features

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Findings from Hub Entertainment Research’s Evolution of the TV Set study indicate a disparity between feature availability and consumer awareness, as well as a strong brand awareness lead for Roku over Amazon Fire.

Highlights from the study:

1) Many consumers with 4K TV sets don’t know where to find 4K content—even though most subscribe to TV platforms that offer it.

  • Only about half of consumers with a 4K TV set have ever used it to watch 4K content.
  • The top-two reasons for not watching:
    • Consumers don’t know where to find shows and movies in 4K
    • They don’t believe they have access to 4K content at all
  • The paradox: four in five 4K TV owners subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, two sources that offer, and publicise, their expansive 4K TV and movie offerings.

2) Smart TVs are not just for streaming video content: streaming music is a relatively popular Smart TV pastime.

  • In fact, the top non-TV application of Smart TVs is music streaming:
    • Nearly four in 10 Smart TV owners use it to stream music
    • And among those who do, a quarter use it for music “all the time” or “often”
  • Two other Smart TV capabilities have attracted a small but dedicated group of consumers:
    • Checking news, weather, or traffic
    • Looking at/using social media apps
    • For consumers who use a Smart TV for these capabilities, the TV serves as yet another method of making sure they aren’t missing out on the latest news: traditional or social.

3) In the battle for connected device dominance, consumers are much more familiar with Roku than with Amazon Fire.

  • The majority of consumers (59 per cent) say they know at least something about the Roku brand, and 26 per cent say they know a lot
  • By contrast, fewer than half (43 per cent) are familiar with Fire TV, with only 15 per cent saying they know a lot

“As smart TVs, connected TVs, connected devices, and TV voice-control devices proliferate, many new services and features have suddenly become available to TV set users,” said David Tice, co-author of the study. “But TV manufacturers and services have a long record of inadequately educating consumers on their offerings. TV brands and content distributors need to work together to increase consumer awareness, as these great new features won’t help sell TV sets or services – or command a premium – if people don’t understand them.”


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