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More than a third of all US households have Web-connected TV

New research from Leichtman Research Group finds that more than one third (38%) of all US households have at least one TV set connected to the Internet via a video gaming console, a Blu-ray player, an Apple TV or Roku set-top box, and/or the TV set itself. 

And, households are mostly tapping into Netflix. That is, the study found that of all the options, game consoles are the top method, with 28% of all households boasting a video game system connected to the Internet. And despite the hype around connected TVs and over-the-top (OTT) set-tops, it's still early days: Just 4% of all households are connected solely via an Internet-enabled TV set, and Apple TV or Roku set-tops are the only connected devices in 1% of all households.

Use of connected devices remains skewed towards Netflix subscribers, with 35% of Netflix subscribers watching video from the Internet via a connected device weekly, compared to 5% weekly use among all non-Netflix subscribers.

In fact, putting the two trends together, 79% of Netflix Watch Instantly customers use it to watch movies and television shows on a TV set, and 59% of this group access Netflix via a video game system.

The overall Web-connected TV penetration rate is seeing steady growth: it's up from 30% last year, and 24% from two years ago.

Overall, 13% of all adults watch video from the Internet via a connected device at least weekly, compared to 10% last year and 5% two years ago. And 16% of all adults use Netflix's Watch Instantly feature weekly -- compared to 12% last year and 4% two years ago.

When it comes to cord cutting, the findings are counter-intuitive. Only 7% of Netflix subscribers are likely to switch from their cable, IPTV or satellite provider in the next six months--compared to 12% of non-Netflix subscribers. And, while 13% of Netflix subscribers would consider reducing spending on their pay-TV video service because of Netflix, that's down from 21% last year.

Overall, 1.6% of households has pay-TV but dropped it in the past year. And just 0.1% of the dropped service in the past year and say they have no plans to subscribe again because of Netflix, or because they can watch what they want on the Internet or in other non-traditional ways.

"Video is increasingly being watched on different platforms and in different places, yet these emerging video services still generally act as complements to traditional television viewing and services rather than as substitutes," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. "Among all adults, reported time spent watching TV is similar to last year, and there remains little evidence of a significant trend in consumers 'cutting the cord' to their multi-channel video services to watch video solely via these emerging services."

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