Research: Sharp rise in smart device ownership

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Hub Entertainment Research has released the findings from its Connected Home 2020 study that shows US consumers are getting smarter in their homes.

The study showcases a rise in smart speaker purchases, a dramatic increase in smartphone viewership, and Amazon’s entrenchment as a leader in the smart electronics space (most notably smart speakers, smart devices, and smart TVs). Lower prices with more features and greater entry of these devices into consumer consciousness have contributed to this growth.

Highlights from the research:

1. Ownership of smart speakers increased from 37 per cent to 42 per cent of all households. The market share of Amazon Echo (56 per cent) showed a slight decrease over 2019 (62 per cent) but is still twice as high as the next runner up, the Google Nest/Home (28 per cent).

2. Presence of other smart home devices increased from 33 per cent to 39 per cent of all homes. The most common smart devices in homes are smart thermostats and smart doorbells/door cameras.

Among homes with smart devices, the leading products are Amazon brands –Amazon’s own and Ring – with Google’s own brand and its Nest brand following behind.

3. The share of all consumers reporting regular viewing of movies/TV programmes on smartphones increased notably from 23 per cent to 30 per cent. One key reason for this may be the growth in unlimited data plans for smartphone homes, which increased from 56 per cent to 59 per cent.

In an associated finding, consumers who do watch movies or TV programmes on smartphones reported higher levels this year of smartphones being “very easy” to use for streaming and having an “excellent” variety of streaming content/apps.

4. Smart TVs with Roku or FireTV operating systems built right in see an increase this year.

The share of TV households with a Roku OS smart TV grew from 18 per cent (2019) to 22 per cent (2020) while the share with a Fire OS directionally increased from 14 per cent to 15 per cent.

Overall, the net share of Roku-enabled TVs (either smart TV OS or connected stick/box) rose from 30 per cent (2019) to 35 per cent (2020) of TV households, while a similar share of Amazon FireTV rose from 23 per cent to 26 per cent.

“Consumers and their homes are getting smarter all the time, whether it’s for entertainment, comfort or security,” said David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study. “Although fielded prior to the main impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, this US snapshot shows how well most households were equipped to deal with both work-at-home and entertainment needs during the lockdown.”


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