Consumers fail to take advantage of connected TVs, reports Kantar Media

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Few people have internet-ready TVs

Few people have internet-ready TVs

Most people in Britain with a connected TV lead a disconnected TV existence, according to a new study of the consumer take up and usage of digital devices and media.

Research by Kantar Media shows, while connected TV is well established, fewer than one in five adults in Britain (17%) has an internet-ready TV set. 

Further, connectivity is not a key driver of the purchase of connected TV sets, said Kantar Media. If found only 7% of adults who own a connected TV have connected to the internet in some way.

Indeed, motivations for purchasing connected TVs are largely focused on traditional drivers, such as screen size and picture quality, rather than connectivity, said researchers. More than one in three adults (36%) do not see the point of accessing the internet through a TV set, they said.

According to Kantar Media, a perceived lack of comprehensive content presents one of the major barriers to greater connected TV usage. 

There is also a general lack of awareness of the services available and advantages of accessing them via a main TV set, the study found.

For users of connected TV, functionality, having to use the remote as a web input device, the absence of some major broadcasters and the loading time of apps are all common complaints. But, it is the irritation of buffering when trying to watch a show through the broadband connection that causes greatest disillusionment for connected TV users, said Kantar Media. 

Connected TV is seen most positively for services that harness the benefits of the living room setting. 

Kantar Media’s futurePROOF study reveals four in 10 people with a TV connected to the internet have watched TV programmes or films on demand through it in the last month. 

Similarly, video-based content that exploits the large screen is a real draw. This includes accessing YouTube content (done by 53% of connected TV viewers) and apps such as Skype, which can bring distant loved ones into the living room to be seen by the whole family.

Trevor Vagg, director, Kantar Media Custom, said: “Our qualitative research identified a clear desire in connected TV households to make fuller use of the technology. However, it looks like development of connected TV will be more evolution than revolution with content availability, functionality and broadband speeds presenting significant obstacles to greater usage.

“Promotion of internet video content that harnesses the strengths of the main TV and its setting will be key to growth, as will a more effective input device and a user interface that matches the user experience found on other web devices.

“Currently, the connected TV user experience is, in many respects, analogous with the early days of WAP mobiles. The experience doesn’t match the promise of full internet connectivity via your TV. But it will come. There is clear potential for growth if manufacturers and content providers can overcome consumers’ current frustrations.”