The YouGov Smart TV Study found a striking lack of understanding regarding what a Smart TV is, with 46% of consumers unable to correctly identify a Smart TV as a TV that directly connects to the Internet without the need of another device. 

The report also predicts a doubling of the Smart TV marketplace within the next year, rising from 7% to 14% ownership. 

The reasons for purchasing Smart TVs reflect this lack of understanding.  Only 34% of Smart TV owners cite Internet connectivity as the reason they bought their new device.  New owners are more likely to have chosen a Smart TV because they were available at a good price (53%) or because they had better picture quality (52%).

As YouGov Managing Director, Steve Ingledew observes, “it appears that consumers do not fully appreciate the benefits that come with a Smart TV and it is incumbent upon the key players within this ecosystem to educate consumers and in doing so accelerate adoption of Smart TVs and consumption of content”.

Good news for providers of applications and online content as 25% of the adult population claim that “the majority of TV that they watch is on-demand”, rising to an impressive 50% among 18-24 year olds.

Leading the pack for viewing is Netflix, with 50% of Smart TV and internet connected TV owners using Netflix on at least a weekly basis.  This compares with 38% for YouTube and 24% for Hulu. However, for the population as a whole, 90% of respondents claimed that they did not know which apps were available on Smart TV.

And which TVs brands are seen as leading the Smart TV market?  Sony, Samsung and LG are seen as the main manufacturers of Smart TVs (43%, 35% and 30% respectively).

Smart TV Ownership

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