TV Connect Rates Still Growing

According to a report by Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG), 24% of U.S. households had a television connected to the Internet in 2010. By last year, this rose to 30%. LRG’s latest research shows that this share has jumped to 38% this year.

The survey includes video game consoles, Blu-ray players, network media players (such as the Roku and Western Digital boxes), and Internet TVs. One of the most interesting results of the survey is that 28% of all households use a video game console to connect the TV to the Internet. That’s nearly three out of every four. While this may signal the video game console’s move from the teenager’s bedroom to the living room, I suspect that it is more likely a measure of young adults in college and living on their own who have chosen to include the video game console in their living room entertainment system.

Whatever the cause, online viewing of long-form content is clearly catching on. The survey indicates that 16% of all adults now watch full-length TV episodes and movies at least weekly, up from 12% last year and 10% three years ago.

According to LRG, traditional linear television services including cable, satellite, and broadcast still dominate the average viewer’s time. The total time spent watching TV has remained fairly constant, and the online services are slowly getting a growing share of that total. So far, however, it appears that few households are “cutting the cord” and dropping the traditional services entirely in favor of streaming video. That is not to say that it won’t happen in the future, and it would appear that the video game console may be the gateway device to that transition.