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eMarketer: A Quarter of US Households Now Have a TV Connected to the Internet

Analysis of data sets from multiple research firms and other sources suggests 25% growth in adoption in 2012

NEW YORK, NY (January 3, 2013)—Nearly a quarter of all US households currently have and use internet-connected TV, and by the end of 2013 that percentage will approach 30%, according to new figures from eMarketer.

Usage of connected TVs in US households was up by nearly 25% last year, eMarketer estimates, and will continue to be taken up by Americans at double-digit rates through at least 2016.

By the end of this year, eMarketer expects 35.1 million US households will have at least one television connected to the internet, and at least one person in the household using the internet through that TV set on a monthly basis.

In terms of individual users, penetration is somewhat lower than in households: 17.4% of consumers used connected TV at least monthly as of the end of 2012, and 22.7% will do so by the end of this year.

eMarketer is relatively distinct in its methodology. The firm forms its estimates of connected and smart TV usage based on the analysis of survey and traffic data from research firms and regulatory agencies, sales projections, historical trends, company-specific data, and demographic and socioeconomic factors.

In this case, eMarketer analyzed dozens of data sets from multiple sources—whose estimates are each tracked and evaluated by eMarketer based on their respective methodologies, definitions and historical accuracy—before forming its own forecast.

eMarketer’s definition of connected TV includes any television connected to the internet, whether it’s an internet-enabled smart TV or connected via a set-top box or game console. Using connected TV includes, but is not limited to, watching video streamed over the internet.

The proportion of those with smart TVs—television sets with a built-in internet connection—is significantly lower, but growth prospects are good. eMarketer expects the number of households that have and use smart TVs to reach 40.2 million by 2016, up from 15.2 million last year.

Again, individual penetration rates are lower, at 9.8% of the population as of the end of 2012.

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Clark Fredricksen
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Posted on January 3, 2013.