Four in five smart TVs now connected

Samsung UHD S9 Series Smart TV

Samsung UHD S9 Series Smart TV

One in five people now have a smart TV as their main TV set, with 80% of those TVs now also connected to the internet, according to new UK research by GfK. 

At a press briefing in London yesterday, Christine Conner research director of GfK UK, said that connectivity was “becoming mainstream,” with a total of 59% now using the TV to access the web – either through the set itself or via another connected device.

“One in five people when we talked to them said ‘my main TV set is now a smart TV’, and one of the real surprises for us was that now people are actually using it as a smart TV,” said Conner.

“Generally in the past, people got a smart TV but they weren’t necessarily aware that it was smart, or didn’t really want to use those functions, but at least four in five of those who had that smart TV are using the functions that come with it.”

Despite this, Conner said that smart TV functionality itself wasn’t driving sales of TV sets.

For 64% of respondents to the research, the reason stated for buying a smart TV was simply that they wanted a new TV. By comparison just 31% said it was because they wanted to access the internet, while 27% said it was because they wanted to access VoD from their main TV screen.

Other findings of the GfK survey, which was conducted last month on a sample of more than 2,000 UK adults, included 86% saying that it does not matter if they miss a programme they want to watch, thanks to the explosion of catch-up services.

“What we’re seeing is this idea or desire to watch live TV is decreasing. Suddenly, people aren’t rushing home to watch Eastenders or Coronation Street because they know, across so many platforms, there’s a chance they’ll be able to watch it fairly easily, pick up on it and not really miss out,” said Conner.

‘Second screening’ was also now found to be commonplace, with 64% of people using another device while watching TV.