Consumers disconnected with their connected TVs

Most people in Britain with a connected TV actually lead a very disconnected TV existence, reveals newly released insight from Kantar Media's futurePROOF study of consumer take up and usage of digital devices and media.

As a platform, connected TV is now well established, but Kantar Media's research highlights that fewer than one in five adults in Britain (17%) have an 'internet ready' TV set. Furthermore, connectivity is not a key driver of the purchase of connected TV sets, with only 7% of adults owning a connected TV which they have actually connected to the internet in some way.

Indeed, motivations for purchasing connected TVs are largely focused on traditional drivers, such as screen size and picture quality, rather than connectivity. More than one in three adults (36%) simply do not see the point of accessing the internet through a TV set.

A perceived lack of comprehensive content presents one of the major barriers to greater connected TV usage. There is also a general lack of awareness of the services that are available and the advantages of accessing them via a main TV set. For users of connected TV, functionality, having to use the remote as a web input device, the absence of some major broadcasters and the loading time of apps are all common complaints. But, it is the irritation of 'buffering' when trying to watch a show through the broadband connection that causes greatest disillusionment for connected TV users.

Connected TV is seen most positively for services that harness the benefits of the living room setting. Kantar Media's futurePROOF study reveals that four in ten people with a TV connected to the internet have watched TV programmes or films on demand through it in the last month. Similarly, video-based content that exploits the large screen is a real draw. This includes accessing YouTube content (done by 53% of connected TV viewers) and apps such as Skype, which can bring distant loved ones into the living room to be seen by the whole family.

Trevor Vagg, Director, Kantar Media Custom, comments:  "Our qualitative research identified a clear desire in connected TV households to make fuller use of the technology. However, it looks like development of connected TV will be more evolution than revolution with content availability, functionality and broadband speeds presenting significant obstacles to greater usage."

"Promotion of internet video content that harnesses the strengths of the main TV and its setting will be key to growth, as will a more effective input device and a user interface that matches the user experience found on other web devices."

"Currently, the connected TV user experience is, in many respects, analogous with the early days of WAP mobiles. The experience doesn't match the promise of full internet connectivity via your TV. But it will come. There is clear potential for growth if manufacturers and content providers can overcome consumers' current frustrations."

Editor's notes

About Kantar Media:

Kantar Media provides strategic advice and competitive intelligence to the world's leading brands, publishers, agencies and industry bodies, helping them navigate and succeed in a rapidly evolving media industry. This includes analysis of paid media opportunities; counsel on brand reputation, corporate management and consumer engagement through owned media; and, evaluating consumers' reactions in earned media.  Kantar Media provides clients with a broad range of insights, from audience research, competitive intelligence, vital consumer behaviour and digital insights, marketing effectiveness and online influence. Our experts currently work with 22,000 companies tracking 3 million brands in 50 countries.

Research methodology

The futurePROOF study is focused on adults (aged 16+) in Great Britain. Released bi-annually, it provides a snapshot of technology ownership and usage of digital media. A total of 2,062 people from Kantar Media's TGI database took part via telephone. Fieldwork took place in February 2012. In addition, 6 in-home ethnographic interviews in connected TV households took place in March 2012.