October 2, 2014
Game consoles now beat out smart TVs and streaming media boxes as the device most frequently used for video streaming, according to a Parks Associates report on Americans’ streaming habits. In the survey of 10,000 households, 44 percent of respondents use a game console as their “primary connected” device for video streaming. Only 20 percent of respondents use smart TVs for streaming and only 12 percent watch video through a streaming media box.
Of the game console owners, roughly three quarters watch Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video, or other video streaming apps at least once a week. Forty percent watch over 10 hours of video per week.
“Gaming consoles are the most frequently used connected CE device because of their high adoption rates — of the broadband households that have only one connected [consumer electronics] device, nearly 60 percent have a game console,” Barbara Kraus, director of research for Parks Associates, said in Advanced Televison.
Consoles are particularly popular streaming devices in households with children. Some 80 percent of broadband homes with children in the house are heavier users of online, non-gaming content from their Xbox or PlayStation. Because of the timing of the study, the report did not take into account Xbox’s change that allows users without an Xbox Live Gold membership to access popular entertainment apps.
Meanwhile, streaming media devices are selling well, particularly Google’s Chromecast, but it doesn’t have quite the same adoption numbers as a primary streaming device, reports Ars Technica. Smart TVs are also gaining popularity as consumers are upgrading from older flat screens.
Blu-ray players have the poorest performance with only 9 percent of respondents choosing the device as their primary streaming device.