19 JAN 2023

Smart TV vs streaming media players: what do consumers prefer?

A plurality of TV homes have both a smart TV and a streaming media player (44%), more than those that have only a smart TV (25%) or only a streaming media player (14%), according to Hub Entertainment Research’s latest report.

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A plurality of TV homes have both a smart TV and a streaming media player (44%), more than those that have only a smart TV (25%) or only a streaming media player (14%), according to Hub Entertainment Research’s latest report. In fact, when Hub counted the streaming media players attached to smart TVs, well over half of smart TVs (57%) are reported to have one attached to it.

The report also notes that consumers prefer the streaming media players’ interface for two main reasons: there may be certain services they cannot access using their smart TV but can access using their streaming media player, or the streaming media player offers other features their smart TV may not.

Regardless of whether they are using a smart TV or a streaming media player, viewers are increasingly turning to the search/discovery/recommendation features provided by the device’s operating system rather than going into each app or service separately to discover content to watch. Right now, viewers are about evenly split between using the device or using apps to find content, whether they are using a smart TV or a streaming media player.

“While the industry seems focused on declaring a winner or loser, viewers are making use of both smart TVs and streaming media players to fulfill their viewing needs. The industry would benefit more from a better understanding of, and delivery on, overarching viewer needs – universal search, single-point billing, unrestricted access to streaming services, etc. – regardless of device,”  commented David C. Tice, Hub Senior Consultant.

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