TV sets with Internet access are increasingly becoming the standard in German living rooms and are gradually changing media consumption habits.
Around one quarter of Internet users already have a smart TV set and 37% are considering buying one, reports PwC in its study Smart-TV: Mehrwert für den Konsumenten, mehr Umsatz für die Medienbranche (Smart-TV: Added value for the consumer, more turnover for the media industry).
Most smart TV owners have already made use of the online function of their TV set, but only a minority use the technical features intensively. Only 28% of the people interviewed for the survey use their TV set several times per week to access online content.
"How intensively the possibilities of connected TV sets are used mainly depends on how easy the devices can be operated: six out of ten consumers don't use online features of their Internet-capable TV set as they can be more easily be operated on a tablet or laptop," said Werner Ballhaus, head of PwC's technology, media and telecommunications division.
The most popular features are video portals like YouTube and the TV channels' catch-up portals (Mediatheken). Video games, social media services and online shopping are much less in demand. Three out of ten smart TV owners use fee-based video-on-demand (VOD) services like maxdome or LOVEFiLM through their TV set and almost a fifth of users regularly pay a monthly subscription fee for them. Younger consumers are more willing to pay for online content than older people.
"Smart TV is at the beginning of a promising career in Germany. If the technical hurdles regarding operation and standardisation are taken in the medium term, a growing number of owners of an intelligent TV set will also use its possibilities, thereby increasing the turnover for content providers," expects Ballhaus.
1,900 Internet users between 18-65 were interviewed for the study in summer 2013 throughout Germany. Around 440 of the participants own a connected TV set. The German-language study can be downloaded free of charge as a PDF file here.