Today, Philips uWand released a report on smart TVs this morning that shows some counterintuitive trends. While ownership of smart TVs is on the rise since 2012, the study finds that uses like video clip viewing, gaming, and Internet browsing is decreasing.
- Adoption of internet-based catch up services, such as Comcast’s Xfinity, increased by 13% (from 48% in 2012, compared to 61% in 2014)
- Despite widespread adoption of social networking, the use of these services on smart TV decreased by 20% (from 30% in 2012 to 10% in 2014)
- Time spend browsing the internet on smart TV decreased from 44% in 2012, to 25% in 2014
- Gaming on smart TV also dropped by 16% (from 28% in 2012 to 12% in 2014)
Philips uWand’s general manager, Navin Natoewal, not surprisingly attributes these decreases to lousy user interfaces and control options. And he has a point. He said in a statement that, “As many viewers currently have to rely on button-based remotes instead of direct pointing control, it’s no surprise they prefer to use other devices for more complex smart TV services like gaming. The user experience is at the heart of service interaction, which explains this decline.”
It’s a fact of the market that remote controls and television menus are stuck in 2010. Just anecdotally, I’ve often opted to watch Netflix on a laptop like a college freshman because my grown up Samsung takes a lot of scrolling and five minutes to load the app. But maybe that’s because it wasn’t approved by the streaming service.
According to the report, “92% [of survey participants] use a button-based remote to interact with their smart TV. Almost half described this experience as ‘poor’.” Among industry pros surveyed, 40% believe VoD “to hold the most potential,” and “10% see gaming as the future of smart TVs.
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