Report: Half a Billion or a Fifth of Global TV Sets Connected to the Internet by 2016

written by: Richard Kastelein

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The number of TV sets connected to the Internet will reach 551 million by 2016 for the 40 countries covered in a new report from Digital TV Research, up from 124 million at end-2010. The Connected TV Forecasts report states that this translates to 20% of global TV sets by 2016, up from only 6% at end-2010.

Despite all of this rapid growth, only 8.9% of global TV sets will be directly connected to the Internet by 2016 (the others will be connected via other devices). However, this is up from a mere 1.4% at end-2010. Proportions will vary considerably from one country to the next, with South Korea the market leader in 2016 (boasting 15.0% penetration).

The gross proportion of TV households with a connected set will be 43% by 2016, up from 11% in 2010. Report author Simon Murray explains:

"These are gross figures as it is possible that one TV household can have several sets connected to the Internet. For example, a TV household could own a connected TV set, and may also have a connected fixed games console. This report identifies five different ways by which a set can be connected to the Internet – and one form of connection does not exclude the other forms."

There are several ways by which a TV set can be connected to the Internet. The most popular at present is via the fixed games console (Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox), which accounted for 79 million of the end-2010 total.

However, sales of connected TV sets (with a built-in Ethernet connection and, increasingly, widgets/applications) are taking off, especially as retail prices are beginning to fall. Soon most sets on sale will have the ability to connect to the Internet (though not all homes buying these sets will hook up to the Internet).

There were 31 million installed connected TV sets by end-2010, and this total will rocket to 244 million by 2016. The number of connected TV sets will exceed the number of connected games consoles by end-2012. Nearly a fifth of TV households will have a connected TV set by 2016, up from only 2.6% at end-2010.

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