El Segundo, Calif. − Nearly three-quarters of U.S. consumers are not interested in buying a smart TV during the next 12 months, according to a new survey conducted by the TV Systems Intelligence Service at IHS Inc. However, the survey finds that demand increases when consumers are aware of what smart TVs are. Upshot: A little market education should increase smart TV purchases.
Another key finding reveals that 27 percent of consumers have purchased a TV within the past 12 months, and an additional 20 percent plan to buy one within the next 12 months, compared to 34 percent and 31 percent in 2012, respectively.
While only seven percent of consumers who are not aware of smart TVs plan to buy one, more than 30 percent of consumers that said they were aware of them expect to purchase a smart TV during the next 12 months.
"The latest results of the IHS U.S. TV Consumer Survey show that TV makers have both a challenge and an opportunity when it comes to selling consumers smart TVs," said Veronica Thayer, analyst for consumer electronics and technology at IHS, in a statement. "Few consumers at present want to buy smart TVs now. However, demand can be cultivated if television brands better explain to consumers what smart TVs are, what they do and why they should buy one.”
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Smart TVs deliver features such as online interactivity, Internet television, home networking, over-the-top content and on-demand video streaming, which are not available in older TVs. Among consumers who already own a smart TV, almost 90 percent connect their set to the Internet, and 80 percent of them have used their sets to access OTT services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon and Instant, according to IHS."This shows that alternative video services are becoming more popular and relevant among U.S. consumers," stated Thayer.
IHS also reveals that the percentage of consumers using smart TVs to regularly access OTT services is similar to that for uses that stream content from Roku and Apple TV, with 86 percent and 79 percent of each device owner base respectively claiming to use these devices to watch Internet video.
Additionally, 75 percent of consumers who have a smart TV own a smartphone, and 65 percent have a tablet, creating an opportunity for secondary-screen applications, including content discovery, content sharing/mirroring and remote control, said IHS.
In 2012, an IHS survey found that more than 50 percent of consumers said screen size was a key factor in their purchasing decision. This year, the survey finds that consumers consider pricing as the main driver to purchase a TV. In addition, neither smart TV or 3-D TVs appear to be major motivators for consumer TV purchases over the past two years. However, LED backlighting technology has earned success in the TV market.
Smart TVs continue to have more power with consumers than 3-D TVs, with about two to three times more survey respondents indicating Internet connectivity was a consideration for their TV purchases compared to 3-D. Another TV purchasing driver was HDTV, increasing the opportunity for market adoption of UHD TVs when they become more affordable, said IHS.