NEW YORK: New connected devices – smart TVs, game consoles, and other connected devices – are growing their penetration into US households. Meanwhile, more traditional ways of consuming online video, namely desktops and tablets are in decline.

This is according to comScore’s latest OTT Report, which used single-source behavioural data measured in 8,000 homes and across 100,000 devices monthly across a representative sample of the United States. The report found that as many as 59.5 million households used OTT in April – 63.5% of all homes with Wi-Fi. What’s more, this constitutes a year-on-year increase of 17%.

Even though traditional devices – phone, which grew slightly; desktop; and tablet – remained the most prevalent, in terms of household reach, significant gains in reach were made by OTT devices.

  • Streaming box/stick: up 7 percentage points year-on-year to 47% of households
  • Smart TV: also up 7pp to reach 37%
  • Gaming consoles: up 3pp to 31%
The research suggests that older devices that used to form the gateway to the internet are being replaced by systems designed not for the internet but for viewing, allowing users to enjoy content on bigger screens.

Just a handful of brands are at the forefront of this increase. In the streaming stick – devices that plug into a traditional TV to make it ‘smart’ – market, Roku leads the charge with 20.16% of US Wi-Fi households. This is up from 16.35% last year. Roku’s additional advantage versus Amazon is that Roku OS is used on 13% of smart TVs. Meanwhile, the Seattle giant’s Amazon FireTV stick now enjoys 19.98% of households, up from 13.88% in 2017. Smart TVs are dominated by Samsung (33%) and Vizio (24%), with LG in third place with 12% of households.

Earlier this month, the ROI agency Zenith found that consumers around the world will spend an average of 67 minutes a day watching online video this year, up from 56 minutes last year. This research suggests that brands are beginning to shift their planning to accommodate more online video in the media mix, cutting out television spots that lead to very frequent exposure among heavy television viewers, and using online video to target – and re-target – light television viewers.

Sourced from comScore, WARC