Advanced Television

Research: Smart TVs in majority of US homes

April 8, 2021

Findings from Hub Entertainment Research’s third annual Connected Home report suggest that smart TVs are now in a large majority of US TV homes, and account for over half of all TV sets. As more Americans use smart TVs to stream, Hub asks whether the future is limited for the now-popular peripherals many use to deliver streaming content, addressable ads, and interactive TV features.

Ownership of a smart TV set is at 70 per cent of TV households in 2021, a notable milestone in their adoption.

  • Overall, 52 per cent of all TV sets are now reported to be smart TVs, up from 45 per cent in 2020. This indicates accelerated replacement of older, non-smart TVs with smart TVs
  • Homes with kids or younger adults are more likely to own smart TV sets. Greater proportions of smart TV ownership are found in homes with children under age 18 (59 per cent of all sets are smart TVs), or in homes where the oldest person is under age 35 (61 per cent)

Key providers of separate streaming devices are hedging their bets by outfitting more and more smart TV sets with their software. The Hub study also shows increasing ownership of TV sets with built-in operating systems from Roku or Fire TV – more than two in five TV households now have one of these sets.

  • And, over half (57 per cent) of TV homes now say they have a Roku/Fire TV streaming device or a Roku/Fire TV set – a large increase over our year-ago measure (51 per cent).

Any streaming to a TV set has increased to 77 per cent of all homes from 74 per cent a year ago – whether using the built-in capability of a smart TV or a connected device. The adoption of smart TVs has driven this increase.

  • Overall, 56 per cent of all homes say they stream using a smart TV at least once a month – up from 48 per cent in 2020.

Lastly, the pandemic has brought about a big change in how people plan to buy smart TVs.

  • In 2019, more people (42 per cent) planning to buy a new TV set said they planned to shop for it and buy it in a store; only 27 per cent planned an online purchase.
  • This year, the pandemic has flipped the numbers: only 29 per cent said they planned to buy at a retail store, while 43 per cent planned to buy online.

“The wider adoption of smart TVs and replacement of non-smart TVs turns up the pressure on connected devices like streaming boxes, streaming sticks, and video game consoles,” said David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study. “This ‘eliminating of the middleman’ will have a direct impact on how future revenue is split on advanced TV businesses like streaming, interactive shopping, and addressable advertising.”

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