TVs, not PCs, primary source screen for online video viewing

Considering the increased popularity and capabilities of Smart TVs and other Internet-connected devices, it would seem natural to assume that the television would take over as the primary screen on which consumers watch online video. After all, as TV people have said for some time, TV is a lean back experience, and online video seems well suited to leaning back.

Anyway, The NPD Group has confirmed what was already suspected, reporting that the number of viewers using their TVs to watch online video has climbed from 33 percent to 45 percent in the past year, while the number of those looking at PCs declined from 48 percent to 31 percent.

The Long Island-based research firm's "Digital Video Outlook" report credits connected TVs--also known as smart TVs--for changing the way consumers look at online video. There are about 29 million of the devices--12 percent of the installed base of consumer TVs--out there right now, and about 10 percent of American households own "at least one connected TV," the analyst firm said, citing research conducted over the past year. Of those who own the devices, 43 percent use them to access online entertainment.

"The growth in connected TVs is another sign that online video is maturing," said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis for The NPD Group, in a news release. "Streaming video has moved from the dorm room to the living room; and, as more households obtain and connect TVs to the Web, we predict increased trial and engagement for video distribution services."

This could be good news for Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), which has seen its fortunes flag of late for any number of reasons. According to NPD, Netflix still holds a big percentage (40 percent or so) of the households who connect their TVs to the Web to watch video. Far behind--statistically at least--is Hulu Plus, at 12 percent, while Vudu only reaches about 4 percent of those who want to connect for online video.

The survey's results were bad news for peripheral devices like streaming media players, video game consoles and Blu-ray disc players, because "nearly one in five connected-TV installations resulted in consumers no longer using" them, the company's news release said.

For more:
- The NPD Group released this news

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