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the connected world supplement special report Supplement sponsored by


The phrase ‘may you live in interesting times’ is well established as the Chinese curse. ‘May you live in the shadow of an excellent CES as this year’s hot technology’ is perhaps the consumer electronics industry equivalent. Only a couple of years ago the premier trade show was all about 3DTV, and a number of people made a number of bold predictions regarding the added dimension which more or less suggested that by the time the London Olympics began, 3DTV would be in ramp up phase. Hmmm…unfortunately for the connected TV industry, connected TV was the darling of CES 2012. Fortunately though, if there’s one thing that you can say about connected TV right now it is that it most certainly isn’t anything like 3DTV. Connected TV now has a great deal of genuine end user demand and, most importantly, it has entered into a phase of monetisation. Joe O’Halloran reports.


towards the end of 2011 - ironically just before the bouquets were being handed out at CES - when it was found that in the UK those with connected TVs weren't actually connecting to the Internet. Two studies carried out in November 2011 and January 2012 by renowned polling and research firm YouGov found that only a tenth of people in the UK owned a smart TV, and only 5% more indicated any intention to purchase one within the next 12 months. Moreover, YouGov concluded that games consoles, rather than smart TVs, would win the battle over which device people will use to access Internet content through their TV.


Fast-forward to the end of July 2012


and it’s a completely different picture that punctures any pessimism. In its ninth annual communications market report, UK broadcast and


The business of connected TV O


ne of the interesting things about the connected TV market is that right now it seems to have overcome the wobble it experienced


Leading US marketing research organisation eMarketer would go as far as to assert that there is a danger that today’s connected TV industry is not taking advantage of the demand for connected TV.


communications regulator Ofcom found a growing appetite for catch-up and connected TV services with evidence to suggest that the growth of catch-up services via a PC is slowing down, with an increase of only three percentage points year on year from 27% in 2011, as catch-up services become increasingly available via Internet-enabled TV sets. In Ofcom’s research, smart TVs represent a fifth, that is 2.9 million, of all TVs sold since 2010 and of these almost two-thirds (65%) said they had used the Internet connection on their TV, despite the fact almost half (47%) smart TV owners said that Internet functionality was not a consideration for them when choosing a new set. Among users of smart TVs, 51% had used their set to watch catch-up TV, while activities like social networking and online shopping were undertaken by 25% and 13% respectively. This notion of what connected TV


users were actually connecting to was investigated in July 2012 by Parks Associates who found that three- quarters of those with connected TVs


S18 l ibe l the connected world supplement september/october 2012 l www.ibeweb.com


connected TV has come over just the last two years, Pietro Macchiarella, research analyst at Parks Associates, said: "The percentage of smart TV owners connecting the device to the Internet has steadily increased, from approximately 40% in 2010 to 56% today….This device, when connected,


regularly watch online video. Even though the research focused solely on the United States, it can more or less be taken as providing some good general hints given that the products and services in use on the other side of the Atlantic are all available in the UK. The analyst also found that the percentage of smart TV owners who used their connected device to watch online video increased by over 30% in six months, with three-quarters of smart TV owners also watching on- demand online films at least monthly, compared with 57% in 2011. Only slightly less, 71% watched online TV shows at least monthly, versus 51% in 2011. On a near-daily basis, 30% watched films and nearly a third (32%) watched TV shows. Explaining rather clearly just how far


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