Connected TV Penetration Rises 21% Y-O-Y

lrg-us-connected-tv-penetration-2010-2012-apr2012.jpg38% of all US households now have at least one TV set connected to the internet via a video game system, a Blu-ray player, and Apple TV or Roku set-top box, and/or the TV set itself, up 21% from 30% in 2011, and almost 60% from 24% in 2010, details Leichtman Research Group (LRG) in an April 2012 report. The key devices for connected TVs appear to be video game systems, with 28% of all households owning a system connected to the Internet. By contrast, only 4% of all households are connected solely through an internet-enabled TV set, while Apple TV or Roku set-tops are the only connected devices in 1% of households.

Online Video Grows in Popularity

Overall, the proportion of adults watching video from the internet via a connected device at least weekly has grown to 13%, up 30% from 10% last year, and almost triple the 5% from 2010. Those using connected devices to watch online video appear to be mostly Netflix subscribers: 35% of Netflix subscribers reported watching video from the internet via a connected device weekly, compared to 5% for non-subscribers.

Netflix Contribution to Cord-Cutting Minimal

Although April 2012 data from the Convergence Consulting Group reveals that the percentage of American pay TV subscribers cutting the cord is gradually rising, Netflix may not be a prime contributor to this trend. In fact, according to the LRG survey, non-Netflix-subscribers were almost twice as likely as Netflix subscribers to say they would probably switch from their multi-channel video provider in the next 6 months (12% vs. 7%). Netflix may not be a key driver of cord slicing, either: only 13% of subscribers said they would consider reducing spending on their multi-channel video service because of Netflix, down significantly from 21% who felt that way last year.

Overall, 1.6% of households in the sample said they paid to subscribe to a multi-channel video service in the past year but do not currently subscribe. However, just 0.1% dropped service in the past year, do not plan to subscribe again in the next 6 months, and attribute their lack of subscription due to Netflix or the ability to watch all they want on the internet or in other ways.

Other Findings:

  • Half of Netflix subscribers are satisfied with the service, while 11% are likely to stop subscribing in the next 6 months.
  • 16% of all adults watch full length TV shows online at least weekly, up 33% from 12% last year, and 60% from 10% in 2009. According to an Arbitron and Edison Research report [download page] released in April, 41% of consumers aged 12-34 have watched TV in the last month by streaming or downloading shows to be viewed on a TV, cell phone, desktop, laptop, or tablet.
  • LRG results indicate that among mobile phone owners, 19% watch video on their phones weekly, up from 15% last year and 6% in 2009. This strong growth was also reported by Nielsen in February 2012. According to that report, the proportion of mobile subscribers watching video online in Q3 2011 jumped 37% year-over-year and 5% quarter-over-quarter to reach more than 10% of the population. In fact, this represented growth of 205.7% in users since Nielsen first launched its report in Q3 2008.
  • The LRG data indicates that 9% of all adults watch video on an iPad or tablet on a weekly basis, up from 2% last year.

About the Data: The LRG findings are based on a survey of 1,251 households nationwide conducted primarily in February 2012.