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How Connected TV Usage will Increase During 2013

 
As the CES 2013 event in Las Vegas approaches, let's consider the evolution of video entertainment in the home. Specifically, what are the known market drivers for connecting a television set to the internet? Moreover, what are the usage characteristics for those people that have adopted this practice.

Clearly, market adoption has gained momentum in the last year. eMarketer now estimates that usage of connected TVs in American households was up by more than 25 percent in 2012, and will continue to be adopted by more Americans at double-digit rates through at least 2016.

By the end of 2013, eMarketer expects 35.1 million U.S. households will have at least one television set connected to the internet, and at least one person in the household will be actively accessing the internet through that TV set on a monthly basis.

The current definition of connected TV includes any television set that's connected to the internet -- whether it’s an internet-enabled Smart TV or a typical legacy TV that's connected via a consumer-owned set-top box or game console.

The common use-case for a connected TV includes watching streaming video that's being delivered to the set over-the-top (OTT) via the public internet.

Obviously, given the current diversity of available TV-related software apps, usage is not limited to video entertainment -- but we know that it's still the most popular use, by far.

eMarketer says, according to that definition, this means nearly a quarter of all U.S. households currently have and use a connected TV, and by the end of 2013 that percentage will likely approach three in ten households.

In terms of the individual users within a household, penetration is somewhat lower: 17.4 percent of consumers used a connected TV at least monthly as of the end of 2012, and it's forecast that 22.7 percent will do so by the end of 2013.

The proportion of those households with Smart TVs -- i.e. television sets with a built-in internet connection -- is significantly lower, but growth prospects are looking good, according to eMarketer's latest assessment.

They forecast the number of households that have and use smart TVs will reach 40.2 million by 2016 -- that's up from 15.2 million last year. But individual penetration rates are lower, at 9.8 percent of the population as of the end of 2012.

eMarketer says that it has formed its usage estimates based on the analysis of survey and traffic data from research firms and regulatory agencies, sales projections, historical trends, company-specific data, and demographic or socioeconomic factors.

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