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Number of TVs connected to the internet will double by 2020

Friday, August 14th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

The number of TV sets connected to the internet will reach 876m by 2020, according to a new report.

The Connected TV Forecasts report from Digital TV Research estimates that the number will reach 415m by the end of this year, up from 105m at the end of 2010.

Streaming, or ‘over-the-top’ devices like Google Chromecast and Apple TV have also had more of an impact than expected, analysts said.

The report predicts that the global total of TVs connected to the internet via streaming sticks and set-top boxes will reach 207m in 2020, up from fewer than 4m in 2010.

The predicted total of 58m by the end of the year is up from 37m at the end of 2014.

Smart TV sets will account for 36% of the 2020 total connected sets, the report found, and has already overtaken the number of TVs connected to the internet through games consoles.

There were 31m connected smart TVs at the end of 2010, but this is set to quintuple to 150m by the end of 2015.

As a proportion of the total number of TV sets, this percentage will climb from 1.3% in 2010 to 5.6% in 2015, and on to 10.9% by 2020.

The report, which covers 51 counties, said the proportion of TVs connected to the internet will soar to 29.9% by 2020, up from 4.5% at the end of 2010 and 15.5% expected by the end of this year.

More than half (55%) of the TV sets in South Korea will be connected, while only 11.4% of the televisions in India will be online.

According to the report, the United States will supply 184m connected TVs by 2020, up from 112m in 2014.

China will take second place in 2020, with 144m – up from 21m in 2014.

'More of a splash'

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “The connected TV sector has shifted considerably since our last edition a year ago.

“This includes fundamentals such as a revision downwards of TV set growth due mainly to greater competition from mobile devices.

“Furthermore, the gulf between rich and poor nations is not going to be breached as rapidly as we previously thought.

“Therefore, connected TV set forecasts for most developing countries, especially China and India are a lot lower.”

He added: “Retail OTT (over-the-top) devices such as Chromecast and Apple TV have made more of a splash than previously expected.”

According to Ofcom’s ‘UK audience attitudes to the broadcast media’ report, 44% of UK adults have used a TV connected to the internet at home in the past 12 months.

Catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer and ITV Player are the most popular connected TV services, with 34% of adults having watched on catch-up in the past year.

Other popular activities include watching clips through websites such as Facebook and YouTube (21%), watching free on demand content (20%) and browsing online (20%).

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