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Report: Streaming Soars as Over Half of Smart TVs Now Stream-Only

Consumers are streaming more content than ever on smart TVs, and most smart TV owners are only streaming content, according to a new report from Inscape.

Inscape, a provider of automatic content recognition technology to smart TV manufacturers and a subsidiary of AV manufacturer Vizio–which was recently purchased by Walmart–found it its first-quarter 2024 TV Market Trends Report that 58% of smart TVs only streamed content, an increase of three percentage points from the previous quarter. The figure is also the largest quarterly gain in streaming-only activity in more than two years.

That means more than half of smart TV owners weren’t accessing any content via cable, satellite or over-the-air antenna.

The report dives into cable and satellite usage and how it has largely stagnated as streaming continues to rise. In fact, smart TV viewing time on cable or satellite saw a 29% measurable decrease in viewing time in the quarter. In contrast, less than 1% of smart TVs completely stopped streaming content in the quarter.

Perhaps most telling in the report is the amount of live TV accessed via streaming services instead of cable or satellite. According to the report, 24.4% of live TV was accessed on streaming services, and that figure has risen steadily since the 15.2% reported in the second quarter of 2022 despite taking a slight dip from the 25.8% reported in the previous quarter.

2024 Lighting Controls and Fixtures Report

Lightapalooza took place in late February, and the growth of the event has mirrored the rapid ascension lighting fixtures and controls.

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CE Pro has covered the quickly growing streaming market, including the live sports streaming landscape and the sometimes-difficult nature of navigating various apps to find live events. According to Inscape’s report, consumers are beginning to show their frustration with their viewing habits, as the number of streaming apps on smart TVs has stabilized around 5.5 for four straight quarters.

What CEDIA Channel Dealers Can Take Away from This Data

As we’ve discussed before, the rise of streaming services and smart TVs hugely benefits the custom home electronics integration industry, which prioritizes robust and reliable networking that can power a seamless streaming experience.

We’ve also seen a need for integrators—who are essentially home entertainment experts—to become content curators and help customers navigate the growing ocean of streaming content. It’s important to understand what kind of content the customer is looking for and curate a selection of smart TV apps pursuant to their interests.

That means investing in and marketing technologies that improve live streaming, such as high-end smart TVs and media players, routers, switches, access points, and more.

Integrators should also still recognize the popularity of live linear TV, with more consumers using cable/satellite than streaming apps to access live content. Solutions that allow consumers to easily switch between sources would be ideal, but integrators should also educate themselves and consumers on the streaming apps that do accommodate live linear TV.

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