Emerging Lexicon Causes Confusion in Recent Report – Apple is Not Poised to Take over Connected TV Market Folks

written by: Richard Kastelein

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I caught an older editorial in the Register this morning on how one semantically-challenged analysis, using a small study group focusing on a niche in the Connected TV industry (Connected TV boxes) can set a wildfire through an industry by publishing a report with a headline and content that might be construed as confusing. In fact, the Register itself is confused.

A very inward-looking report by Strategy Analytics, published last month, seems to ignore the entire Over the Top video market - and makes Apple an out-and-out winner with its $99 Apple TV device by taking 32 per cent of the Connected Home Device market in 2011.

Let's just look at that. So Apple will win 32 per cent of the device market which amounts to 12 million devices, purely in the US, as long as you don't count the following list: Blu-Ray devices, Connected TVs themselves, browser-based TV Everywhere efforts, and broadcast catch-up services, whether they are on the Apple App store or come directly from websites. So this is just for separate boxes, which don't also do another job such as deliver Netflix and the like.

Actually it does not say that Apple with take 32 per cent of the Connected Home Market but rather the Connected STB market. So the Register itself is wrong on this point.

So here’s the Flames...

Venturebeat exclaims!

Apple TV to gain 32 percent of the connected TV market in 2011

Ouch. Monumental headline wrongness… shudder. We are talking about a very small slice of the Connected TV market here folks. What Strategy Analytics call the connected TV player market. What I might call the connected TV box market and what some call the connected STB market… It’s not the Connected TV market – which certainly includes the TV manufacturers themselves, never mind game consoles, Blu-Ray players, and a plethora of others.

Even worse – Broadband TV News get’s it wrong in their headline:

Apple leading connected TV market

Maybe editor Julian Clover is playing it up to get hits… or likes short headlines – because they correct it in the body of the article.

Apple is set to capture 32% of the connected TV player market in 2011, according to Strategy Analytics.

Home Media Magazine also piped in:

Report: Apple Leading Connected TV Market
The report itself notes that Apple TV users are spending more money on movies and TV shows and that 30 per cent of TV owners rented movies or TV shows, compared to 20 per cent of users of other devices.

Wow. Not only is Apple poised to take over the Connected Device universe – the retail 2000 dollar demographic study shows that Apple TV owners clearly spend more. Watch out OTT landscape, here comes the Apple TV box! Yeah. Right.

To be honest, I think there’s a bias in the report that smells a bit like a rogue Apple Fan Boy on the loose. Not that I don’t like Apple but I don’t like devotees of anything. The Register was right on one count – missing out on Connected Blu-Ray players would have sent Apple into single digits. Had they included connected game consoles, like Xbox and PS3 into the fray – Apple would have been sniffing numbers in the basement along with Western Digital and Seagate who were also in the study.

From FierceIPTV:

Strategy Analytics senior analyst Jia Wu said that Apple will sell about 4 million of the 12 million devices expected to ship this year. Although the devices have yet to become mainstream, Wu said an increasing number of consumers are buying them and said dropping prices for second generation devices have made them more affordable and compelling to consumers.

And that, Wu said, will be good news for content providers, because Apple TV users spend more money on movies and TV shows, renting movies and TV shows more often than users of other devices.

"Apple is leading this nascent market, which it still considers a ‘hobby,'" said Wu.

And, he warns, he doesn't expect Apple's lead, once it launches a connected TV as expected in 2012, to do anything but grow.

"Rival platforms must accelerate their development plans to keep Apple from running away with the connected TV business, as it has done in smartphones and digital music," he said.

He’s dreaming. The connected TV box world he has studied is just a sliver of a vast OTT universe. Sure Apple will get some traction. But they are far, far behind in the overall market – mainly due to Steve Jobs not really showing much interest in it – and catching up to dominate the Connected TV industry overall is merely a pipe dream. Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Microsoft, LG, Philips, Sharp, et al. are already in the living rooms with smart TVs and game consoles and will likely keep a true Apple TV at bay for some years as a niche product.

Someone needs to write a dictionary for this evolving world. I wish I had the time.

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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