Streaming video viewing continues to be a widespread activity, buoyed by an ever-expanding array of content to choose from and increasing penetration of viewing devices. In fact, as new data from Comscore reveals, the number of US households watching OTT content on connected TV (CTV) devices has risen yet again.
Comscore’s data indicates that 133.35 million US households watched OTT content on a CTV device in February, representing an 11% increase from the year-earlier period (120.32 million in February 2021).
An increase in penetration was observed across viewing devices, but was most prominent for smart TVs, for which growth in viewing time has been witnessed the world over. Within the US almost 50 million (49.86 million) households watched OTT content on a smart TV in February, a 17% increase from 42.57 million in the year-earlier period. That compares with a 5% increase in households watching via a streaming box/stick (to 58.8 million) and a 4% increase in those watching on gaming consoles (to 16.76 million).
In terms of penetration, that puts smart TVs in 59% of OTT homes as of February 2022, up from 55% a year earlier. Although streaming boxes and sticks are in more homes, individually no other device can match smart TVs’ penetration level, with Amazon Fire TV (30%) and Roku (28%) in about half as many OTT homes.
Smart TVs are also leading the charge when it comes to viewing time. Total OTT viewing hours grew by 23% year-over-year to 9.4 billion in February, but viewing time on smart TVs outpaced that level of growth, up 31% to 3.8 billion. By comparison, viewing time on streaming boxes and sticks rose by 18% to 4.7 billion, while on gaming consoles there was a modest decrease of 2% (to 604.1 million).
This trend has caught the eye of brands, with the analysts noting that Amazon and Comcast already have introduced their own lines of smart TVs. As of February Samsung maintained the largest share of smart TVs by OEM (26%), though its share has shrunk from 31% in February 2021 and 33% in February 2020 as competition has heated up.
Comscore indicates that “CTV has become a mainstream media behavior in the U.S.,” and that viewing hours remain above pre-pandemic levels even as restrictions have lifted. This creates a new opportunity for marketers, who are pouring more of their digital ad dollars into CTV, driven not only by the aforementioned trends but also in part by cookie deprecation.
For more, check out Comscore’s data here.