Another new report has been released claiming that only a small percentage of smart TV users actually take advantage of its connected features, as sellers of such sets get another timely reminder that they need to make their products more accessible and appealing to online users.
The study, conducted by the English branch of research firm NPD Group, was notable for its discovery that 60% of users take on their devices for streaming purposes in video apps such as Netflix or LoveFilm, though all other major findings appear to be less promising.
10% of users are noted as using the internet browsing capabilities of their smart TV set, while ‘under 10%’ use the TV app versions of social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. In addition, a meagre 5% of all owners use the features that can connect their set directly to a PC desktop. An exception to the rule seems to be the relative popularity of ‘music streaming’ services such as Spotify, whose apps were noted as being taken up by a ‘reasonable’ 15%.
Perhaps more surprising than all of it, though, is the research taken by NPD that earlier this year claimed below 50% of smart TV owners have their sets connected to the internet.
NPD Connected Intelligence Group’s John Buffone wrote of the trends found: “The Internet-connected HDTV screen has so far failed to break beyond the bounds of its TV-centric heritage, with little use for the big screen beyond the obligatory video services. The decision is not for want of application choice, but rather seems to be focused on how consumers are used to interacting with their TV. HDTVs, gaming consoles, Blu-ray Disc players, and other connected devices offer an array of applications… [but], in general, these have failed to resonate with the audience, not least because there are better platforms, such as the PC, tablet, or smartphone, for such services.”
With Buffone also claiming that manufacturers need to focus ‘more on simplification’ and ‘less on innovation’, will any of the words be heeded by the industry, or are smart TV sets just destined to not be a practical alternative to computers?