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NPD: Smart-TV Owners Not So ‘Smart’

27 Dec, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Only about 50% of Internet connected televisions are actually linked to the Web, with about 60% of those users primarily using the access to watch streaming video (like Netflix) and not much else, according to new data from The NPD Group.

Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD said there are about 25 million “smart TV” households among the user base of 114 million TV households in the United States. Meanwhile, there are more than 42 million U.S. homes with Blu-ray players, with just 15 million of them connected to the Internet.

The research group found that among survey respondents of its Connected Intelligence Application & Convergence report, browsing the Internet and using social media on a connected TV failed to resonate.

Indeed, online activities such as LinkedIn, Twitter, posting, blogging, reading e-books, magazines, news, video calling, e-commerce, casual video games, Facebook, uploading videos and reading maps accounted for less than 10% of smart-TV use. NPD found that such activities were dedicated to superior (and more private) platforms, such as the PC, tablet or smartphone.

The lone anomaly: Music subscription services, where the location of the TV and the availability of key music streaming apps such as Pandora, Rhapsody and Spotify has driven reasonable consumer uptake about 15% in 2012.

NPD said the results suggest a dual-edged sword.

“On the positive side, the TV itself remains the fundamental screen for TV viewing within the home and is seeing an expanded array of programming through OTT services that supplement pay-TV subscriptions,” John Buffone, director of devices, with NPD Connected Intelligence, wrote in a Dec. 26 blog post. “The less than great news is that the TV manufacturers are failing to make the TV more than, well, a TV.”

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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