Connected device use to surge

22 November 2011

AVIGNON: A majority of households in markets such as the UK and US could contain "connected devices" like tablets and smart TVs in three years' time, with China and India also catching up fast.

Bain & Company estimated the gadgets would achieve a household penetration topping 60% in France, the UK and US, and approaching 30% in metropolitan areas of China and India.

For the report, the consultancy polled 3,045 adults in China, France, India, the UK and US to assess demand for televisions, tablets and games consoles providing access to the web.

"More than ever, leading media companies and cultural institutions will need to embrace new business models and support their brands through investments in ambitious content," the report said.

"These experiments could disrupt the delicate economic equilibrium on which content creation relies. But they could also foster innovation across the industry and the broader creative ecosystem."

While smart TVs are currently "rare", Bain & Company predicted they may reach 45% of people in the Western nations featured by 2014, although uptake will be more limited in India and China.

By this date, tablets with online connections will be present in 25% of residences in France, the UK and US. China should be close to this total, but India might lag behind somewhat.

Between 2008 and 2011, the share of digital usage time dedicated to categories like sport, shopping, information and communications rose by 4%, Bain & Co added. By contrast, reading, gaming listening to music and viewing video fell by around 1%.

In Western countries, only a third of consumers envisaged allocating greater amounts of time to such activities due to the "enhanced content" available on digital channels and most were already "core users", versus just 20% who were "nonusers".

Exactly 35% of the same sample planned to watch more video material in this way going forward and a similar number were keen on playing back "webisodes" through connected devices.

Some 45% of people in India and China use the web to recommend video content, rising to 49% for offline recommendations. These figures stood at 25% and 45% in turn for the US and UK.

Finally, the study found 50% of the panel were "committed" to using search engines and social networks to access a wide range of content, offering opportunities for distributing online video.

Data sourced from Bain & Company/Forum d’Avignon; additional content by Warc staff