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New industry research from Parks Associates shows app developers are targeting the smart TV platform as the next significant growth area as nearly 80 per cent of smart-TV owners regularly use apps. App Development and Distribution Models details the app development process and monetization strategies for multiple platforms, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and connected cars.
"Smartphones have the highest penetration rate of app platforms at 60 per cent of U.S. broadband households, but smart TV adoption will reach nearly 25 per cent of all U.S. households in 2013," said Heather Way, Senior Research Analyst, Parks Associates. "App developers are focusing on the smart TV platform for new apps, and TV manufacturers such as Samsung and LG already have their own app developer programs, which control app distribution and monetization."
Samsung launched a new line of smart TVs at CES 2013, including a smart screen featuring apps from Netflix, Twitter, YouTube, Fox, and Spotify. Panasonic showed a smart TV controlled by a tablet-based app.
Parks Associates reports that among smart-TV app users, 43 per cent use an app to watch video and 45 per cent use an app to play games.
"Seventy-nine percent of smart TV owners are regular app users, but the use cases for TV apps are different than smartphones and tablets," Way said. "TV viewing is a lean-back, shared experience, with apps as access points to complementary content, whereas smartphone app use is more personalized. Apps will alter the TV-viewing experience by opening new avenues to discover content and also serve as means for content owners to push premium content to households."
Parks Associates notes that developers must leverage existing skill sets to break down technical and financial barriers of delivering content across multiple Internet-connected devices. Emphasis on cross-platform app development will continue to increase as connected cars are also emerging as significant app platforms.
Furthermore Parks Associates announced new research showing 26 per cent of U.S. broadband households own a smart TV and 46 per cent own at least one set-top box. Furthermore, 63 per cent of smart TV owners connect the set to the Internet, and 79 per cent of these owners use the TV to watch premium online video on a monthly basis.
"Mobility is a key part of the connected home, with the average broadband user watching 1.6 hours of video on a mobile phone each week," said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "As service subscriptions become saturated, competition shifts to content and multiscreen offerings, and our research shows consumers are watching the same kinds of movies and TV programs on mobile phones and tablets as they are on computers and TV sets. Starz, Samsung, and AT&T bring significant expertise in the role of content and mobility in building strong consumer services, and their insights will be invaluable at CONNECTIONS™."