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Report: Streamers Buying Connected Blu-ray Disc Players

6 Aug, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Interest in video entertainment via Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus may be rising, but accessing that content is happening through Internet-connected Blu-ray Disc players and video game consoles, according to a new report.

While game systems such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 rate as the most popular devices to stream video, followed closely behind are Blu-ray Disc players, which ranked ahead of all other devices, including the burgeoning media player market. The latter is spearheaded by Roku, which ushered in the subscription video-on-demand market with Netflix in 2008.

Indeed, 28% of 928 California respondents in a Jan. 5 to Feb. 23 telephone survey conducted by Portland, Ore.-based Research Into Action (www.researchintoaction.com) said they bought a Blu-ray player compared with 33% who said they recently purchased a game console.

The report provided a demographic profile of the buyers and their device preferences for accessing online video.

About 15% of respondents said they bought Apple TV, Google TV and Roku — the data would suggest that streamers still appreciate the option to watch packaged media content — including Blu-ray in 1080p resolution and DVD in standard definition — without sacrificing access to electronic distribution.

Notably, while 75% of respondents chose either a game console, Blu-ray player or media player to stream video content, few survey respondents reported purchasing these products solely for the purpose of streaming to a TV.

This contrasts with previous reports of widespread PC-to-TV connectivity and suggests a maturation of the streaming-to-TV marketplace, according to Research In Action. Consumers are spending to stream, and their devices of choice are stand-alone or “TV-centric” boxes without displays that connect directly to the TV.

“Our conclusion is that multifunction devices are still preferred to the single-function OTT boxes,” said Marti Frank, analyst with RIA.

Other insight on streaming media device buyers included the fact they are younger (averaging 45 years) than non-streamers (53 years), with streaming media buyers reporting higher annual incomes (56% reported above $60,000 incomes in 2011) compared with only 34% of non-buyers.

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