Parks Associates Study Sheds Light on SMD Viewing Habits

By Kyle Piscioniere October 06, 2015

Recent Parks Associates research has determined that U.S households with a streaming media device (Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, etc.) consume four more hours of television per week than traditional cable households.

Streaming media devices (SMDs) are growing in popularity, and the fight for market shares has been fierce. These devices act as content hubs for their users; by plugging an SMD into a television, a user consolidates all of their online content streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) onto their television screen.

The study measured video consumption on TV sets only, so the findings are more intuitive than they may seem at first glance; it’s likely that households without streaming media devices compensate by streaming content through their computers, using the same services that streaming device households used. The announcement also did not elaborate on whether a television set’s in-built SMD – a popular feature of smart TVs – counted towards the findings. 

However, the research bodes well for the streaming media device market. If those users are accessing Internet content on their computers, then SMDs will be an attractive purchase. SMDs allow users to access Internet content on a television without necessitating a laptop, lengthy setup, or expensive smart TV.  And because SMDs operate with any HDMI-enabled television, households can also begin to cut their cable service without losing access to quality content for the TV set. The initial entry fee to SMD service can quickly be offset by that reduced cable bill, and the initial inconvenience of installation is outweighed by increased screen and speaker size.

Image via Shutterstock

Parks Associates have also identified the leading SMD brands: Amazon, Apple, Google, and Roku. While those names should surprise no one, Roku’s dominance may be a shock: the company sold 34 percent of all SMDs in the states. Google followed with 24 percent, with Amazon and Apple trailing.

The same research found that 20 percent of U.S broadband households own a streaming media device, with 86 million SMDs expected to enter the market in 2019.

Parks Associate research is available for sale at their site, though curious readers should expect to pay heavily for the information; the studies cited in this article go for $5,000 apiece. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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