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Majority of US Internet Users to Use a Connected TV by 2015

The US connected TV audience will post double-digit growth rates into 2017

The connected TV audience is still in a nascent stage, but the number of individuals in the US who use the internet through a connected TV at least once per month is growing rapidly. eMarketer estimates that more than 113 million people—35.5% of the US population and 45.0% of internet users—will use a connected TV regularly this year, and in 2015, the majority of US internet users will access the internet through such a device. The connected TV audience will post double-digit growth rates through 2017.

Falling prices of smart TVs, combined with the increasing popularity of set-top devices—such as Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire and connected video game consoles—and ever-expanding streaming content options, will help drive audience growth.

eMarketer defines connected TVs as sets hooked up to the internet through any means, including a built-in network connection or a third-party device such as a game console, set-top box, or laptop. We have raised our forecast for connected TV users in the US from our January 2013 projections based on new comparative data, expected releases of new smart TV and set-top box models in the coming years, and falling price points of these devices.

Smart TVs are defined more narrowly as sets with built-in internet capability. eMarketer forecasts that the number of US smart TV users will reach 49.8 million in 2014, or 15.6% of the population and 19.8% of internet users. Growth will be in the double digits through 2016. This is slightly lower than eMarketer’s January 2013 forecast, due to new comparative data.

Due to an increasing number of consumers accessing TV, movies and other video content via set-top devices, gaming consoles and Blu-ray devices, the share of smart TV users as a percentage of connected TV users will decrease slightly between 2014 and 2018, while the portion of smart TV non-users will rise. This year, smart TV non-users will account for 56.0% of connected TV users. By 2018, this will grow slightly to reach 58.8%.

eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all of its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

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