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Does Owning a Smart TV Change People’s Viewing Habits?

Stephen Silver

The arrival of smart TVs has very much changed the mechanics of how people watch shows and movies at home. But has it changed people’s habits when it comes to what shows they watch and how much of them they watch?

According to a new survey, the answer is a surprising no.

Released by S&P Global Market Intelligence and its media research division, Kagan, the 2022 U.S. Consumer Insights survey found that “US TV viewing behavior [is] largely unchanged despite [the] proliferation of smart TVs.

“Approximately three-quarters of U.S. internet households own at least one smart TV,” the Kagan study says. “However, the ability to access online digital entertainment directly from a smart TV has had virtually no effect on consumer TV viewing behavior.”

While smart TV owners watch “slightly more online video,” their overall TV-watching behavior is largely similar to those of non-smart TV owners. Households who do and do not own smart TVs watch an average of about four hours of TV per day, and a third of each group watches about one-third VOD content.

In terms of TV brands, when smart TV households were asked what brand they own, 41% said Samsung, while Vizio was second with 19%, followed by LG (18%), TCL (11%), and Sony (10%). In addition, of households who own multiple smart TVs, 63% said that they have multiple brands, while 37% said that all their TVs are the same brand.

Smart TV ownership, the report said, has risen slowly over time, from ownership jumping 8% over the last two years. Given the shift to internet-connected TVs, it is somewhat surprising that it hasn’t resulted in a more pronounced change in general viewing habits.

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