Connected TV is primed for explosive growth

The connected TV world is about to get a whole lot bigger. Despite the plethora of smart TVs vying for consumer dollars and streaming media players like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, among others, the market is far from saturated. According to Interpret’s Streaming Devices: Platforms, Brands, and Consumers 2021 report, 50% of US shoppers who plan to purchase a smart TV or a streaming media player within the next three months will be first-time buyers.

“With half of buyers being new to smart TVs and streaming media players, this sector of consumer electronics is primed for continued growth,” Brett Sappington, Interpret’s Vice President of Research told Advanced Television. “However, not all streaming device brands will enjoy the full benefit of that growth. Our research shows that each brand attracts a unique consumer audience, with differing characteristics, habits, and preferences that are often related to key features. Those brands that best meet consumers’ needs stand the best chance of gaining market share.”

With more and more first-time owners entering the market, there are numerous opportunities for original content, which Roku is beginning to invest in, and ad-supported video. While market leading Roku is likely to be a big winner in this pie expansion, from a pure content perspective, Google may see the biggest benefit. Its YouTube app is on every smart TV and streaming media device on the planet, Google has its own ad-buying tools, and the company’s YouTube audience is truly massive with over 2.3 billion monthly active users. Moreover, YouTube’s empire is large enough that it’s able to steer clear of most platform revenue-sharing agreements.

YouTube ubiquity aside, on the device front, Chromecast has dropped a lot of ownership share over the past three years, and Google will need to reverse that slide. With Amazon taking second position in US installed base, its momentum with Fire TV devices may allow the online giant to catch up with market leader Roku.

Beyond advertisers and ad-supported content providers, premium subscription services like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and more all stand to benefit from the continued growth of smart TVs and streaming devices. Interpret’s VideoWatch™ shows that owners of both are more likely to spend on content than overall consumers, as they average $8 more for pay TV and $1 more for streaming services per month than overall consumers. The streaming wars have ratcheted up in the last 12-18 months, but most consumers are prepared to pay for the entertainment they crave.