Research: US Connected TV growth plateaus

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According to research from market intelligence firm TDG, the diffusion of Internet-connected TVs (CTVs) in the US – now inherently tied to the uptake of high-speed residential Internet services—is slowing. At the same time, however, CTVs are reaching beyond the living room and master bedroom to other rooms of the home.

“Roughly 85 per cent of all US households now subscribe to a high-speed internet service, which speaks to its value in today’s home,” notes Michael Greeson, president and principal analyst at TDG. “However, recent data suggests the pace of new gains is quickly diminishing.”

Recent market gains provide a clear sign of what the future holds. In second-quarter 2020, the number of broadband households increased by 1.35 million. A year later, only 900,000 were added to the tally, a decline of one-third. TDG expects this trend will continue, which is not at all unexpected. “When products and services near saturation, growth declines to the low single digits and the market becomes a zero-sum game in which one operator’s gains are actually the losses of another,” advises Greeson.

Consequently, growth in the number of CTV households has plateaued. August TDG research finds that 85 per cent of broadband households use a CTV, up roughly 25 per cent from 2015 but only 1.2 per cent from 2020.

Thus, new growth in CTV penetration will come in small increments. The more steadfast opportunity is in growing the number of units per home, a trend that is well underway.

Among CTV households, the device’s presence in the home living/family room increased from 77 per cent in 2020 to 83 per cent today. The most notable increases, however, occurred in the master bedroom (up from 41 per cent to 50 per cent) and second bedrooms (up from 22 per cent to 28 per cent), with penetration in most other rooms also increasing (except for den/game rooms).

This pattern is hardly new; rather, it follows the diffusion pattern of most all new TV technologies—that is, as new TVs enter the household, they replace the primary TV (living/family room) which is moved to the master bedroom, then to the second bedroom, etc. and ultimately to the recycling bin/centre.


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