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Parks: 31% of Broadband Homes Use Web to Watch TV, Movies

14 Feb, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Roku box

Strong sales of the Roku streaming player and Apple TV in the fourth quarter contributed to 13% penetration among broadband households for Internet-connected video media players in 2011, according to a new report.

Dallas-based Parks Associates estimates that 14 million media players will sell in 2012, underscoring increased consumer demand for access to video entertainment via non-traditional sources such as the Internet. Indeed, 31% of U.S. broadband households regularly watch movies and TV shows from the Web, according to a recent Parks survey.

“In the 2011 holiday season, 4% of households bought one of these inexpensive, single-function devices, which enable households to view over-the-top (OTT) video from Internet-based services such as Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix,” said Kurt Scherf, VP and principal analyst with Parks Associates. “Nearly 20% of these holiday-season buyers are over 45 years of age, so these devices have achieved relatively broad appeal among multiple consumer segments.”

Apple, which just reported its best-ever fiscal quarter, generated 2.8 million unit sales of Apple TV in fiscal 2011, including 1.4 million units sold in the holiday fourth quarter. Roku sold 1.5 million devices in 2011, bringing the number of media players the company has sold to 2.5 million, since helping to launch the streaming video business with a branded Netflix player in 2008.

“While this trend does not yet frequently equate to canceling pay-TV services, it can mean shaving some premium channels for a set of households,” Scherf said. “That is a risk that pay-TV providers must address and a trend that both manufacturers and content providers are following with eagle eyes and plans for defensive actions.”

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