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NPD: Connected-TV Ownership Tops Blu-ray Disc Players

2 Mar, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

There were more than 22 million televisions actively connected to the Internet in U.S. homes in the fourth quarter of 2014 — topping for the first time (by 10%) the number (20 million) of actively connected Blu-ray Disc players, according to new data from The NPD Group.

There were 13 million actively-connected televisions during the prior-year period. The data was compiled from a Q4 consumer survey of 5,000 respondents.

Connected TVs now represent the third-most-popular channel to access third-party apps. Video game consoles and streaming media devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV still rank as the most popular means of accessing Internet video through the television.

Consumer transition from disc to digital entertainment is impacting adoption of Blu-ray Disc players and their means as digital distribution platforms. Proliferation of connected TVs (and BD players) underscores the surge in digital content distribution, including subscription video-on-demand, electronic sellthrough and transactional VOD.

By 2017, there will be 47 million connected TVs within 30 million U.S. Internet homes delivering content through apps, according to NPD. Increased sales, connectivity and usage trends led the TV to become a more prominent connected device ahead of forecast.

“Going forward, the key to success for connected TV and attached content device manufacturers will be the availability of apps from top TV networks,” John Buffone, executive director of connected intelligence with The NPD Group. “This aspect of the app marketplace will become even more critical during 2015 as HBO and Showtime follow CBS and become available without a cable or satellite pay-TV subscription.”

There were about 140 million people in the United States who still used a disc player in 2014, with household penetration around 81%, according to Nielsen.

The number of disc player users fell 1.7% year-over-year in the third quarter — and time spent with a disc player declined 2.4% to 5 hours and 16 minutes per month.

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