Friday, April 12, 2013

27% of U.S. broadband households interested in technical support for emerging connected devices

Smart TVs, DVRs, smart thermostats, and other new connected devices are an emerging market for tech support services, according to Parks Associates’ consumer research. “Technical Support for Emerging Devices” reports over 25% of U.S. broadband households value support service for at least one of these “emerging” devices, with 17% interested in support for multiple devices.

“Emerging” devices in this consumer study are specifically defined by Parks Associates as smart TVs, connected Blu-ray players and DVRs, game consoles, streaming media players, smart thermostats, electronic door locks, IP security cameras, automatic lighting controls, networked audio systems, and wireless speakers.

“The adoption of connected CE devices is growing across three fronts – home video equipment, home audio equipment, and home management equipment – with over 75% of U.S. broadband households owning at least one of these emerging devices,” says John Barrett, director, consumer analytics, Parks Associates. “All three categories present unique challenges to consumers, but compared to computers and smartphones, they have received marginal attention from support providers.

Parks Associates data show adoption of these devices will continue to rise, especially among Internet-enabled home management equipment. With the market still in the early stages, providers need to begin planning their support service offerings for these expanded product categories, according to the research group. Best Buy’s Geek Squad already covers a variety of devices, including home theater and gaming devices. Service providers such as AT&T and Comcast offer TV protection options as part of their service.

“The computer is still at the center of support services,” Barrett says. “It remains the primary need, so optimum support packages will bundle device support with computer services, with options to add advanced devices as they are acquired. This market offers a significant path to recurring revenue: the more devices consumers acquire, the more likely they are to opt for service subscriptions.”

From the article, "27% of U.S. broadband households interested in technical support for emerging connected devices" by Dennis Sellers.

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