The days of watching content simply based on what is showing on the TV, or what is available on cable TV, are well and truly over. According to the latest Connected Home Entertainment Report from NPD Group more than 50% of US homes have access to at least one device that can stream OTT content; in fact, on average US homes have access to around three such devices.
Devices that were included in the research were grouped into four categories; Blu-ray players, smart TVs, game consoles and specifically designed streaming devices like Roku and Apple TV. Perhaps unsurprisingly, games consoles are the most widely used streaming device but streaming players are growing in popularity at the fastest rate.
What does all of this mean?
These figures tell a story of people increasingly choosing to stream content that they want to watch. The truth is that cable TV can be very costly and most people watch only a quarter of the content that is available to them through their cable package. It is far more cost effective for them to choose a subscription streaming package that is likely to provide a higher percentage of relevant viewing at an affordable cost. The myriad of different streaming devices, and OTT content providers, available makes the switch to streaming content very simple.
The growth of streaming devices
Given the rise in popularity of streaming OTT content, it’s hardly surprising that specifically designed streaming devices are also experiencing a rise in popularity. Although Apple TV still leads the way in the number of devices overall, with a total of 37 million sold since 2007, Chromecast is quickly catching up and actually took the lead with 35% of the market in 2015.
You can see by these figures that OTT is very much a growing entity and is definitely here to stay. The fact is that viewers have taken a journey from traditional linear TV viewing where choice was limited, to cable TV which provided plenty of choice but much of it was surplus to requirements where viewing tastes were concerned. The journey has now progressed to OTT streaming which provides a more structured and personalised viewing product as a more affordable cost than cable. It’s easy to see why OTT content is so popular and why it continues to revolutionise the future of viewing, not just in the US but across the globe.