Smart TV Users Lack System Intelligence

A recent YouGov survey into the use of smart TV sets in the UK has revealed that, amongst other key statistics for connected TV viewing, almost half of owners do not know what a smart TV is designed for.

In a general survey of 2,000 panel members (1,300 of which owned a smart TV set), YouGov found that while around 25% of UK viewers currently use an on-demand service to cover most of their shows, only 8% of those questioned in the first Smart TV Tracker survey claimed to own one, with a further 7% intending to buy one in the near future (this figure rose to 14% in Wales, showing a clearer interest in the format in that country).

However, only 53% of those smart TV owners actually managed to summarise what a smart TV is for (a TV able to connect to the internet (without external devices)), meaning that 47% were not up-to-speed with the main attraction of their living room. Meanwhile, 91% of viewers were unaware of what ‘apps’ were available for smart TV, while 97% did not know that apps for BBC iPlayer and YouTube were amongst them (96% showed a similar lack of knowledge that social networking website Facebook was available in app form for connected TV).

A key purpose of smart TV which more people seem to be aware of, though, is on-demand viewing, a practice said to be done more regularly (than watching on ‘linear schedules’) by 35% of viewers, with those numbers rising in the cases of young adults (18-24 demographic) and ‘family’ households.

The picture above shows the results of a multiple-choice survey on why users bought a smart TV, with the leading reasons (as more than one was allowed to be selected) being the desire to have a more ‘up-to-date’ set (56%) and high picture quality (47%), with other varied reasons featured including connecting to the internet or another device (27% & 17%), replacing a broken set (22%), and the digital switchover (14%).

YouGov ‘media consulting director for financial services and media’ Dan Brilot said of the findings: “These figures show that Britons are entering into a new paradigm in the way that TV is consumed – ‘TV 2.0′. TV 2.0 is all about consumers rather than schedulers deciding what to watch and when; whilst linear TV is still at the core of most things that most people we watch, the next generation who are growing up with the internet’s new mode of serving and searching content will increasingly focus their viewing attention to on-demand services.”

Further multiple-choice questions found that 57% usually watch whilst doing something else, despite the fact that 47% claimed TV watching ‘is a big part of my life’. For added viewing experiences, 29% regularly using ‘Red Button services’ for additional content, while 23% claimed to choose content based on recommendations from the smart TV set. With fairly inconclusive results over the state of the average smart TV viewer, is the landscape of viewing changing, or are TV audiences as unassuming and potentially unpredictable as ever?

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