Study: 38 Percent of U.S. TVs are Online

Leichtman Research says that almost 40 percent of homes have at least one TV connected to the web.


Last year, manufacturers were hoping that 3D would be a buzzword for potential TV buyers. Instead, another TV feature took over. It seems that viewers are way more interested in web connectivity, says a new study.

A new study by Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) says that 38 percent of all U.S. households have at least one TV connected to the web. Those numbers are up 8 percent from 2011, and 14 percent from the year before that.

However, viewers aren’t necessarily upgrading to a web-enabled HDTV. Only about 4 percent rely on the actual TV to get online, with video game systems taking the top spot with 28 percent. Set-top boxes, such as Roku and the Apple TV, make up another 1 percent of all households.

The LRG study, “Emerging Video Services VI,” also says that 13 percent of adults watch web video via one of these connected devices on a weekly basis. This is up 8 percent from two years ago.

Netflix remains the popular video streaming choice, with 35 percent of Netflix subscribers getting a video fix from the service on a weekly basis. Only 5 percent of non-Netflix subscribers watch web video each week. Other highlights from the study include:

  • 16 percent of all adults use Netflix’s Watch Instantly feature weekly.

  • 79 percent of Netflix Watch Instantly customers use it to watch movies and television shows on a TV set; 59 percent of this group access Netflix via a video game system.
  • 50 percent of Netflix subscribers are satisfied with the service.
  • 13 percent of Netflix subscribers would consider reducing spending on their multi-channel video service because of Netflix. This is down, compared to 21 percent last year.
  • 9 percent of all adults watch video on an iPad/tablet computer weekly, compared to 2 percent last year.

That said, LRG still sees online web content as a complement to pay-TV services, versus a substitute.

“Video is increasingly being watched on different platforms and in different places, yet these emerging video services still generally act as complements to traditional television viewing and services rather than as substitutes,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Among all adults, reported time spent watching TV is similar to last year, and there remains little evidence of a significant trend in consumers ‘cutting the cord’ to their multi-channel video services to watch video solely via these emerging services.”


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