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Report: Major shifts in smart home usage

August 31, 2022

Findings from the first biannual Plume IQ Smart Home Market Report from personalised communications services specialist Plume reveal comprehensive intelligence about the growth of the smart home sector, including the changing popularity, penetration and usage of connected devices and home networks.

The report analyses anonymised and aggregated data from a cross-section of the 41 million homes managed by the Plume Cloud across the US, Europe and Japan, comparing the periods January to June 2021 and January to June 2022. The data reflects consumers’ relentless adoption and use of smart and IoT devices in the home with a 10 per cent increase in device volume per home and an 11 per cent increase in data consumption – presenting Communication Service Providers (CSPs) with an opportunity to innovate while increasing revenue.

Key findings include:

  • Consumers’ growing appetite for IoT and smart home technologies shows no sign of slowing down: Globally, the average number of connected devices per home is currently at 17.1, up 10 per cent from 15.5 in the first half of 2021. The biggest change is in Europe, where the average number of devices per Plume household jumped by 13 per cent, from 15.4 to 17.4.
  • Major growth in device volumes and types: Since the pandemic, there’s been an uptick in smart home device sales. Smartphones remain the most popular device in Plume-powered homes, averaging over six per household across all locations, including ‘guest’ devices that are allowed access to the network. Plume-powered homes in the US have the highest penetration of connected devices to date, with an average of 20.2 per home.
  • Data consumption is on the rise but not for fitness bikes: With up to 10 per cent more devices in Plume-powered households, Plume saw an upward trend (11 per cent) in data consumption across the Plume Cloud. However, the biggest decrease in data consumption is seen in fitness bikes—down by 23 per cent which likely reflects a change in consumer behaviour with people returning to the office, exercising outdoors or at the gym as they adjust to the post-pandemic world.
  • Apple dominates device brand loyalty: According to Plume’s brand index, which gauges the level of smart home users’ loyalty, Apple dominated with a “presence” (i.e., one or more same brand devices) in more homes, and in homes that Plume considers to be “brand-devoted” (i.e., five or more same brand devices) or “brand-obsessed” (i.e., 10 or more same brand devices). In terms of percentage change across the two periods, there have been stronger gains in the ‘devotion’ and ‘obsession’ categories. Apple gained an increase of 24 per cent more homes with 10 or more devices, and Samsung and Amazon followed suit with 17 per cent and 18 per cent respectively, illustrating the comparative strength of the iOS device ecosystem.
  • The average number of blocked cyber-threats grew exponentially: Globally, the average number of cyber-threats blocked by Plume systems has risen significantly by 51 per cent over H1 2021. The cyber-threat category that has grown the most is botnets, where threats blocked grew by 84 per cent, followed by malware with a 58 per cent increase, and spyware and adware, which grew by 40 per cent. Inevitably, this may be a result of the conflict in Ukraine as cybercriminals sadly look to exploit periods of global uncertainty.

“Plume’s data reflects two interesting periods – the first half of 2021 when consumers were gradually emerging from the pandemic restrictions that had kept them homebound, and the first half of 2022 when people started going back into the world,” notes Todd Grantham, Chief Marketing Officer at Plume. “Despite the radically different circumstances, it’s evident that smart homes and IoT devices remain very much key to our connected lifestyles. “As service providers look to solidify their smart home strategies in line with this trend, our latest market update report offers exclusive intelligence to help them identify and understand changing consumer dynamics and raise the quality of experience and services that their customers desire.”


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