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Smart TV sales surge accompanied by a shake-up in TV OS mixnScreenMedia

It looks like US consumers are about to enter a massive refresh cycle on the TVs in their homes. If it happens, the market share of TV OSs is liable to shift dramatically too.

US TV sales to increase in 2023

In TiVo’s Q4 2022 Video Trends Report, the company reported that 26% of survey respondents planned to purchase a smart TV within the next six months, up from 21% in Q4 2022. Of those planning to buy, 53% were adding a new TV to a new location, and 47% were replacing Age of TVs in US homes 2019-2023a TV they already have.

The data is confirmed by research from Circana. The company says that the average age of a TV when it is replaced in the US is 6.6 years. 25.5% of TVs in homes are seven years or older, with an average age of 5.2 years, up from 5.0 years during the pandemic.

Smart functionality as important as picture quality for new purchasers

The criteria people use to decide between TVs is shifting. Normally, when someone buys a TV, the top three qualities they consider are screen size, picture quality, and price. However, the smart TV platform has become a major deciding factor.

Among those purchasing a TV for a new location, having the major apps built into the TV is at least as important as price and picture quality. Among those replacing a TV, getting smart functionality or a better experience are critical factors.

The importance of smart TV functionality should help drive the penetration of the devices much higher in the next year. According to Leichtman Research, 71% of US TV homes had a connected smart TV in 2022. That could reach 80% in 2023, while the penetration of streaming sticks and boxes languishes below 60%.

Smart TV OS mix is changing

TV OS providers have been improving their interfaces and experiences to try and differentiate the TVs they power from competitors. The approach could be working. S&P Global Market Intelligence reports that Android TV is catching up to market leader Samsung Tizen. S&P analyst Neil Barbour says Android TV/Google TV grew its global market share by 2.1% over the last year. Part of the reason for its success is the wide array of smart TV and streaming media player manufacturers that use Android TV. For example, in the US, Hisense, Sony, TCL, and Sunbrite have Android TV/Google TV models available.

Amazon Fire TV has also increased its global market share by 0.4% over the last year. It has done so by focusing on its in-house 4-Series and Omni brands and OEM partners like Best Buy (Insignia) and Toshiba.

Roku has also introduced two in-house series of TVs, the Select Series 4K and the Plus Series 4K. However, Mr. Barbour doesn’t see them impacting Roku’s commanding US lead in the smart TV market;

“Roku’s smart TV distribution network is relatively limited right now, so we might not see a big impact from the smart TV pivot in the near term. We would expect better market share opportunities to emerge with more retail partnerships.”

However, Roku is already seeing stiff competition in striking new retail partnerships. In the US, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV have made in-roads with Roku’s close partners, like TCL and Hisense. Globally, Roku must beat out new competitors like Foxuum, Vidaa, and TiVo before it can begin to catch bigger competitors like Android TV and Fire TV.

So, as TV sales pick up in 2023, expect the penetration of connected smart TVs to reach 4-in-5 US homes and for the mix of TV OSs to shift away from Roku and toward competitors.


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