More life than industry expects in streaming players | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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A study from Hub Entertainment Research is casting doubt on the received wisdom of those forecasting a quick death for streaming media players (SMPs) in the face of the current generation of smart TVs, suggesting consumers don’t see it the same way.
Hub SMP 19Jan2023
Hub’s research observed that 44% of US TV homes have both a smart TV and an SMP, more than those that have only a smart TV (25%) or only an SMP (14%). When it counted SMPs attached to smart TVs, well over half of smart TVs (57%) are reported to have an SMP attached to it.

Looking at reasons to explain the trend, Hub suggested that consumers outside the media bubble have various reasons such as they preferred the SMP’s interface; there may be certain services they can’t access using their smart TV but can access using their SMP; or the SMP offers other features their smart TV may not.

It added that history has shown that TV tech is hard to kill off and that it often survives for years alongside its replacement. As an example, Hub pointed to VCRs and DVD players; DVD players and Blu-ray players; analogue sets and digital sets. It added regardless of whether they are using a smart TV or an SMP, viewers were increasingly turning to the search/discovery/recommendation features provided by the device’s operating system (OS) rather than going into each app or service separately to discover content to watch. Viewers were also about evenly split between using the device or using apps to find content, whether they are using a smart TV or an SMP.

“While the industry seems focused on declaring a winner or loser, viewers are making use of both smart TVs and streaming media players to fulfill their viewing needs,” said Hub Entertainment Research senior consultant David C. Tice. The industry would benefit more from a better understanding of, and delivery on, overarching viewer needs – universal search, single-point billing, unrestricted access to streaming services, etc. – regardless of device.”