Futuresource: Smart TVs the top way to tune into Netflix

Published June 23rd, 2017

Smart TVs are the preferred way for customers to access content provided by a streaming service as revealed by FutureSource Consulting. According to a Futuresource senior market analyst, Jack Wetherill, smart TV was the leader in six markets that it had studied.

Presenting data at the Futuresource New Content Horizons event in London, Futuresource senior market analyst, Jack Wetherill, said that the smart TV led in each of the six markets it had analysed.

Spain led with 49% of Netflix users opting to watch via smart TV, followed by Italy at 42%, the UK at 35%, Germany at 32%, the US at 30% and France at 28%.

Streaming media devices like Google Chromecast were the second-highest favoured option for accessing Netflix in four of the six countries, with PC or laptop viewing proving second most popular in Spain and Italy.

Viewing Netflix via a set-top box did not rank among the top five viewing methods in any of the six markets – apart from France, where it came in fifth place with 8% of viewers saying they liked to view the SVOD service this way.

Despite this, set-top box ownership in Western Europe climbed by 39% between 2012 and 2016 to have a presence in 111 million households, according to Futuresource.

Smart TV ownership climbed by a larger 163% over the four-year period but only appeared in 79 million homes in the region in 2016, while digital media adaptor ownership grew by a massive 458% to appear in 22 million Western European homes.

Wetherill said Futuresource expects 20 million set-top boxes – excluding free-to-air boxes – to be shipped in Western Europe this year, down just 1% year-on-year.

This compares to 19 million smart TVs, up 6% year-on-year, and 13 million digital media adapters, up 16% year-on-year.

“There’s a range of different devices there for consumers to be enjoying OTT content – it’s a complex landscape out there,” said Wetherill.

“We know that the move from broadcast to IP is an irreversible trend, but for some of the reasons I’ve outlined, it will take time to move from a) to b) – in fact many years. The set-top box will remain part of that landscape for some years to come.

“As somebody once described it, and it will no doubt be described again, the set-top box is kind of like the cockroach in a nuclear winter. It will be one of the things that survives this whirlwind of development in content and hardware.

Source: Digital TV Europe


AR and VR to merge with reality

Seven out of 10 consumers believe that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will become mainstream in media, education, work, social interaction, tourism and retail, according to Ericsson’s latest ConsumerLab report. It adds that media is already being transformed and consumers expect virtual screens to start replacing TVs and theatres in less than a year. The report, entitled Merged Reality insights into how consumers expect VR and AR to merge with physical reality, and that 5G will be a key technology for such experiences to become mainstream. It also says that when boundaries between people’s perception of physical and virtual reality start to blur, this could result in a drastic impact on lives and society. The way people live, work, and consume information and media will fundamentally change. However, realities will not merge if the user is tethered to a computer or cut off from physical reality. Early adopters of VR/AR expect next-generation networks like 5G to play a central role. Thirty-six percent have expectations on 5G to provide VR/AR mobility through a stable, fast and high-bandwidth network, while 30% of early adopters also expect 5G to enable tethered headsets to become wireless. The qualitative research in the report included an innovative focus group discussion series completely in VR with participants from North America and Europe, as well as traditional focus groups with current users of VR from Japan and South Korea. A series of qualitative VR tests with 20 Ericsson employees were also done to understand how lag in VR can trigger nausea. In the quantitative part of the study, the report presents insights from a survey of 9,200 consumers in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the US, aged between 15-69. with awareness of the concept of VR. Source: Broadband TV News