Connected TV Has Reached 86 Percent of Households—but Has Run Out of Room to Grow

September 14, 2021 Topic: TV Blog Brand: Techland Tags: TVConsumer ElectronicsConnected TVInternetCable TV

Connected TV Has Reached 86 Percent of Households—but Has Run Out of Room to Grow

Has connected TV hit a ceiling?

While connected TVs are now in eighty-six percent of households in the United States, the growth has slowed to the point where there may not be much more room to grow for that market.

That’s according to the data released this week by TDG (The Diffusion Group), which found that the percentage of connected TV households mostly matches that of broadband-connected households in general.

“Roughly eighty-five percent of all U.S. households now subscribe to a high-speed internet service, which speaks to its value in today’s home,”  Michael Greeson, president and principal analyst at TDG, said in the release. “However, recent data suggests the pace of new gains is quickly diminishing.”

The eighty-six percent figure is only up one percentage point from the eighty-five percent figure in 2020, after it was seventy-eight percent in 2019, seventy-three percent in 2017, sixty-four percent in 2015, and fifty percent in 2013.

The survey also noted where people keep the connected TVs. Eighty-three percent of those asked have connected TVs in their family or living room, which is up from seventy-seven percent last year, while fifty percent have one in their master bedroom, up from forty-one percent in 2020. As for having a connected TV in their second bedroom, 28 percent say yes, compared to twenty-two percent in 2020. The other rooms in the home have improved by less, with “den or game room” remaining flat at nine percent.

“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/center,” TDG said.

In the second quarter of 2020, in the throes of the pandemic, the number of broadband households jumped by 1.35 million, likely because many households upgraded when at-home work and school suddenly became necessary. Only 900,000 such households were added in the second quarter of 2021.

“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,” the research firm said.

A different report from earlier this year, from Leichtman Research Group, found that more than eighty percent of U.S. households with a TV have at least one “Internet-connected TV device.”

“Use of connected TV devices leveled off over the past year after being pulled forward due to the coronavirus pandemic last year. Still, thirty-nine percent of adults watch video on a TV via a connected device daily, and sixty percent at least weekly,” Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc, said in a press statement in July.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters