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Netflix “key” to US leadership in smart TV usage

US owners of smart TVs are three times more likely to be regular users of the Internet capabilities of their TVs than those in Europe, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

The report adds that over one-third of smart TV owners in the US are now using their TV set to connect to the Internet at least once a week, compared to just 9% of European smart TV owners.

The popularity of compelling over-the-top (OTT) video services such as Netflix is identified by the research firm as a key reason for these marked differences between the US and European markets.

“It is essential that smart TV manufacturers and their partners develop compelling video services and content in the local language for non-English speaking markets,” says Caroline Park, Senior Analyst and the report’s author. “The success of Netflix with smart TV owners in the US has demonstrated that such services can drive usage of smart TV services and apps.”

The study also found that 33% of smart TV owners in Europe and 22% in the US had never set up their smart TV to connect to the Internet. In addition, a smaller number of owners in each market had set up the Internet connection but had stopped using the Internet connectivity altogether.

As expected, the report found that only one-third of smart TV owners across both the US and Europe had bought the TV because of its ability to connect to the Internet. In spite of this, 65% of smart TV owners now say that Internet connectivity would be an important consideration when they next bought a TV set.

A separate report from the European Commission (here) found earlier this week that just 20% to 30% of Connected TVs in Europe are actually being hooked up to the Internet, although Connected TV usage is expected to grow relatively fast over the next few years due to increasingly widespread access to higher Internet speeds, and a rise in connected devices and available content.

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