The streaming video device market continues to evolve – amid growing consolidation around a handful of devices and platforms. Smart TV adoption is rising - now 60% of internet households report owning one - while streaming media players have plateaued; both remain important. Game console adoption continues to trend downward, in contrast.
Given that most TV models are now smart TVs, the natural replacement cycle continues to drive incremental adoption. Smart TVs are the dominant video consumption device.
- Samsung has the strongest position in the smart TV market, by a wide margin.
- Amazon now leads the market for streaming media players with Roku closely behind it.
Amid a slowing economy and the threat of inflation, consumer spending slowed over 2022. Despite this, consumers remained invested in streaming video consumption, with a record-high of 23% of internet households subscribed to 9 or more services in Q1 2022. The streaming device market is maturing rapidly as a result.
Both consumers and industry stakeholders are focusing on the smart TV as the entertainment centerpiece of the home. Though other platforms such as game consoles are still used to consume video, consumers are moving to the smart TV as their device of choice, and secondarily towards streaming players. Similarly, advertisers, measurement companies, and other industry players now consider the smart TV as the key video consumption device in the home.
Consumers are overwhelmed by streaming video choices and are looking for devices to simplify their experience. Consumers frequently face a confusing overload of service and content choices, and the industry is competing to deliver evolved user experiences that address this via content-first interfaces, personalized super-aggregation, and more. Competitive evolution today is as much about the software and UX, as it is about hardware.
Today’s streaming device market is dominated by ecosystem giants and platform owners. The smart TV and streaming media player markets are heavily stratified. Samsung, Roku, Amazon, LG, Vizio, and Google are the main players controlling the point of consumption and are expected to only become more powerful within the streaming industry over time.
Smart TVs have been gaining ground on streaming media players in terms of consumer perceptions and are narrowing the gap across performance factors. As smart TV processing power and user experiences have improved, consumer perceptions of their capabilities relative to SMPs have improved. Traditionally SMP-related advantages have decreased in their advantage towards SMPs, and smart TVs now lead in how consumers perceive their remote controls, gaming capabilities, internet connectivity, speed, and app quality. This shift is expected to progress further as smart TV hardware and UX continue to improve.
As the market continues to progress in 2023 and beyond in particularly challenging economic conditions, an even higher level of competition between major ecosystems and platform vendors is expected to benefit consumers. However, the streaming video device market has become increasingly unattractive for new entrants.
Content owners and services are concentrating on the smart TV and streaming media players as the main video consumption platforms in the home, and refining their related strategies over time.
This is an excerpt from study, Connected Consumers: Streaming Video Products providing a current view of the consumer adoption and demand for different streaming video products in today’s market. It examines the progress of consumer usage of streaming video devices and platforms, most-demanded features, the competitive picture for device platforms, brand perceptions, and consumer purchasing behavior. In addition, the research explores differing usage patterns, with particular attention given to the use of online video services.
Key questions addressed:
- Which devices and platforms are the most popular? Which are gaining/losing ground?
- What are the strengths/weaknesses of each platform, brand, and platform?
- What are consumer perceptions of the varying brands and platforms?
- How successful have these platforms been at integrating content offerings?
- How are these devices being used to watch, and subscribe to, varying types of streaming video services?
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