Fewer consumers think streaming devices can replace traditional TV: GfK

Netflix's Stranger Things seen on Chomecast Ultra. Image: Netflix
Image: Netflix

Consumers who own TV-connected streaming devices are increasingly more likely to use them in conjunction with traditional broadcast and pay TV than without.

According to GfK’s The Home Technology Monitor, 64 percent of digital media player owners reported that at least one of their players is connected to a TV that also has traditional pay-TV service. The same study showed that 27 percent of respondents own two or more streaming devices.

As ownership of streaming devices has increased, sentiment about using those devices as replacements for traditional TV has changed. According to the study, 58 percent of respondents now feel that streaming devices should be used as “an addition to regular TV broadcasts.” That’s compared to the 45 percent who felt that way in the same study in 2014. The number of respondents who said they view their digital players as “replacement(s) for regular broadcasts” fell from 40 percent to 29 percent.

According to the study, those changing attitudes toward streaming devices has also manifested in lower numbers of consumers looking to drop pay-TV service all together. In 2016, 13 percent of respondents said owning a streaming device led them to eliminate traditional pay-TV (cable or satellite) service, compared with 17 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, levels of cord shaving have held steady since 2014.

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Of course, recent numbers regarding U.S. pay-TV subscriptions don’t necessarily gel with the results of GfK’s study. According to analyst firm SNL Kagan, pay-TV operators have lost a collective 1.2 million subscribers so far in 2016.

GfK’s study stuck to Apple TV, Roku, Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV, which together account for about 90 percent of the market.