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NPD: 238 Million Internet-Connected TV Devices By 2020

The NPD Group is anticipating an explosion in Internet-connected TVs over the next three years.

According to a new report by the market research firm, Connected Home Forecast, Americans will have 238 million smart TVs and streaming media devices installed by the end of 2019, a 59 percent increase since 2015.

Smart TVs will account for 45 percent of the growth while less expensive but content-heavy streaming devices are expected to drive 35 percent of the gains.

Indeed, streaming media devices including Google’s Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV and Stick are expected to be found in more homes than any other connected TV device, with 43 percent of Internet-accessible households owning at least one such gadget by 2020.

The rate of consumers actually using their devices’ connected capabilities is projected to increase from 70 percent of installed units last year to 80 percent by 2020, due to hardware prompts, improved user interfaces and an increase in quality app programming from TV networks, NPD said.

But the increase in connected-TV options “will inevitably result in diminished usage for some devices,” predicted John Buffone, an NPD executive director and connected-intelligence analyst.

Moreover, a consolidation of operating systems has begun among TV manufacturers, Buffone observed, with more than ten vendors opting to partner with Roku and Chromecast, as opposed to managing their own app eco-systems.

“The integration of streaming media player operating systems into TVs points to the beginning of a consolidation of operating systems that app developers will need to focus on in order to reach their audience,” he said.

In related news, NPD has partnered with Tru Optik, which will provide first-party data on the consumption of movies and video games via over-the-top (OTT) TV and connected TV.

“Tru Optik brings a unique dataset that we believe will add tremendous value to the studios, content distributors and retailers who rely on NPD data to make sales and distribution decisions,” said Karyn Schoenbart, NPD president and COO. “Being able to understand the demand for content via OTT, one of the fastest growing platforms in the U.S., will provide an added layer of insight to help our clients make better decisions.”