Web-Connected Devices Lead to Big Changes in How Consumers Interact with Entertainment Content

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
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NPD’s “Smart Devices as Content Platforms” report reveals shifts in content acquisition driven by growth in Web-connected devices available both inside and outside of the home

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — According to The NPD Group, a leading market research company, growing consumer use of smart devices that connect to the Internet is changing the face of home entertainment. Once the sole purview of home and office computers, broadband connections are now commonly available on everything from smartphones and tablets, connected video-game consoles, televisions, and Blu-ray Disc players — and so is the world of entertainment content this fast Web connection enables, including subscription video, streaming music, and games and other mobile apps.

“The growing installed base of Web-connected devices is already having implications for how consumers discover, consume and acquire entertainment content, and for how providers and retailers need to promote entertainment content to consumers,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis for The NPD Group. “Once primarily the domain of tech-savvy young male early adopters, downloading entertainment content to tablets, TVs, and game consoles is now much more common among regular American moms, dads — and their kids, too.”

According to NPD’s “Smart Devices as Content Platforms” report, nearly 8 in 10 users who connect their Blu-ray Disc player to access online content download television shows and movies via Hulu, Netflix, and other subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services, compared to 69 percent of connected-TV users and 64 percent of connected video game console users. Tablets and smartphones tend to be used less frequently to access SVOD services. Nearly one quarter of connected tablet users and about 15 percent of connected smartphone users access these services on their devices, but consumption is growing.

When it comes to listening to music on the go and in the home, smartphones and Web-connected TVs lead other connected devices for consumers’ propensity to stream music and listen to Internet radio. Just under a third of smartphone users and connected-TV users (31 percent) who access online content, use their devices to stream music or listen to Internet radio, compared to just under 20 percent for tablet users and video-game console users. The usage profile for the various smart connected device types also varies widely for online video games and game apps.

“The evolution of entertainment content acquisition has obviously been driven by wild growth in, and availability of, Web-connected devices now commonly seen both inside and outside of the home,” Crupnick said. “The once ubiquitous desktop computer has given way to connected televisions, Blu-ray players, notebook computers, tablets, and smartphones, which have enjoyed tremendous growth in the past two years.”

Data note: Information in this press release was derived from The NPD Group’s “Smart Devices as Content Platforms” report, which is based on data from NPD’s consumer-survey tracking update in March 2012. The final report is based on approximately 10,500 completed responses from U.S. consumers. Survey data was weighted to represent U.S. population of individuals (age 13 and older) and tested for statistical significance at 95 percent confidence level.