Hub report uncovers shifting habits in smart TV usage

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Hub Entertainment Research’s fifth annual “Evolution of the TV Set” study highlights an evolution in viewers’ behaviors, demonstrating a shift in smart TV usage, with streaming music emerging as a leading non-TV feature.

As smart TVs become a fixture in U.S. homes, more viewers are exploring their built-in connectivity. The study shows that half of smart TV owners not only use their sets to watch video but also for streaming music and other audio content.

In 2023, smart TV ownership has hit a new high, with 74% of households reporting ownership, a rise from 61% in 2020. Among these owners, 64% report using their smart TV to stream video, marking an increase from 47% in 2020.

These findings suggest that smart TVs are gradually replacing standalone streaming devices like Roku or Amazon Fire TV sticks.

According to the study, 52% of respondents noted that their most-used TV set includes a remote control with voice command capability, up from 38% in 2020. Among homes with a smart TV, 30% have linked their set to a smart speaker to facilitate voice control, a 25% increase from 2020.

The study found that 77% of smart TV owners use their sets for more than just TV or movie viewing, a sharp increase from 63% in 2020, noting that televisions continue to be the hub of all content in the home.

Streaming music or other audio content has become the most popular non-TV feature on smart TVs, with 49% of respondents reporting usage, almost double the rate since 2020. Following this, 38% of smart TV owners reported casting or mirroring another device’s screen onto their smart TV, a rate that has almost tripled since 2020.

“The evolution of the TV set is making valuable new features available to viewers, whether it be better quality picture and sound, streaming, apps, or voice control,” said David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study. “This also means challenges to incumbent firms in the TV ecosystem as alternative content providers, advertising sellers, and gatekeepers dramatically increase their presence through the growth of smart TVs.”

The “Evolution of the TV Set 2023” report is based on a survey of 2,504 U.S. consumers, conducted in May 2023. The study examines consumer ownership and attitudes towards TV sets and related technologies.