According to market intel firm Parks Associates, 64 per cent of households in the UK with a broadband connection have at least one internet-connected entertainment device hooked up to their telly. Not surprising, given how cheap it is to jump on the streaming bandwagon these days.
Parks’ findings help to explain the overwhelming success of services like Spotify, which boasts over 20 million paying customers globally and Netflix, which entertains over three million UK subscribers.
The firm’s research also shone a light on European users’ opinions of developing technology and found that a quarter of German, Spanish and UK households find smart home appliances “very appealing” – even if they might be earwigging our most intimate secrets.
Even those of us who haven’t splashed out a smart TV still love to get online, as we saw recently when Amazon’s diminutive Fire TV Stick rapidly became the company’s fastest-selling UK device ever. The success of the tiny device, which serves up access to Netflix and Amazon’s own Prime Instant Video service, wasn’t that much of a surprise, given the huge impact made by Google’s own Chromecast. After all, Chromecast shifted over 100,000 units inside just two months when it launched last year.
The emergence of higher-quality ultrafast broadband, such as the services on offer from Hyperoptic and, most recently, TalkTalk, will doubtless influence how we use our internet-ready home entertainment moving forward. For instance, companies which offer 4K content, like Netflix and Amazon, could soon be raking it in as we all make the jump to UHD.
It isn’t just smart TVs and media streamers which are becoming more and more popular among UK users though. Recent statistics show that more than half of us now own tablets, which are routinely used to stream media, while consoles are as popular as ever, with more than 80 per cent of UK households reportedly owning one. And games are far from the only offering, with the likes of Netflix and Amazon support built-in.
Have you shunned streaming services so far? Let us know why in the comments below.