Los Angeles - Nearly 80 percent of store-level CE retail sales associates described themselves as familiar to very familiar with connected TV, according to a survey conducted by Creative Channel Services (CCS).
The Internet is most likely to debut in the American living room via a set-top box that is streaming rented content, according to the nationwide survey of 3,300-plus CE retail sales associates conducted by CCS.
The retail marketing agency commissioned the survey to gain an understanding of attitudes towards Internet TV (or connected TV) in stand-alone products and as an embedded feature in TVs, Blu-ray players and other entertainment devices at the retail store level.
The recent survey collected responses from store-level associates at national, regional and local retailers of consumer electronics products. The survey found that while nearly 80 percent of respondents described themselves as familiar to very familiar with connected TV, more than 45 percent felt that consumers will prefer to invest approximately $250 in a set-top box over a new Internet-enabled TV, Blu-ray player or home-theater system.
Respondents said the No. 1 reason consumers will invest in connected TV is to have a unified multimedia experience (53 percent of respondents), closely followed by streaming video (50 percent), Web surfing (39 percent), using online applications (34 percent), listening to music (33 percent) and viewing photographs (32 percent).
Though connected TV enjoys a high-profile at the moment, more than half of the respondents didn't feel consumers would look to replace their cable and satellite television services with it for at least another five years (54 percent).
However, the responding retail professionals personally felt that connected TV technology could replace cable and satellite services sooner, with 28 percent seeing the shift taking hold in three years, and 22 percent seeing it happening as early as two years.
"This survey is very telling," said Andy Restivo, president and CEO of CCS. "Who better to ask to determine adoption trends for new technologies than the people engaging shoppers every day? The survey highlights the fact that the average retail salesperson carries with them a tremendous amount of product knowledge, even for nascent technologies. As key influencers of consumer purchasing decisions, retail salespeople can drive adoption of cutting-edge technologies and help new products find homes in people's living rooms."
If the shift is going to happen soon, manufacturers will need to do more to inform the general public about connected TV technology. In a survey of consumers, also sponsored by CCS, just 31 percent of respondents said they were familiar with the technology, and only 17 percent said they were likely to purchase a connected TV solution within the next year.