Strategy Analytics: TV Apps Need Better Marketing

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BOSTON – Apps are increasingly popular with owners of smart or connected TVs, but most consumers use only the apps they were already familiar with, according to a study by the Strategy Analytics Digital Home Observatory. The research, “TV Apps: Owners Won’t Give Them Up,” found the most popular apps were Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora and iPlayer. By contrast, use of many other apps, including Facebook, was extremely limited, and these apps were generally perceived to be lacking in value and functionality.

“Surprisingly, most owners of connected TVs do not seem to have been particularly interested in apps when they bought the TV originally,” says Caroline Park, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics. “But when they find they can access media apps which give them more control over their video viewing, these often become the most important function.”

Park adds, “While apps users tend to gravitate quickly towards apps they are already familiar with from using a PC, tablet, games console or smartphone, they see little reason to explore or investigate what other apps are available, and if they do, they are usually disappointed at the experience.”

There's a Selling Job to Do
“The industry seems to have forgotten it has a selling job to do,” notes David Mercer, VP of the digital consumer practice. “Major consumer electronics players like Samsung and Sony have put a lot effort into developing connected-TV platforms, but many consumers are unaware of their capabilities, even after they have bought the device. A lot more work needs to be done to demonstrate the power of smart TV in order to improve the viewing experience.”

This ethnographic study was fielded in July 2011. The results draw upon 24 hours of in-depth, in-home observation sessions and interviews with 12 owners of connected TVs based in San Diego and London.

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