A duel for the HDMI slot

People FencingThere is a growing appetite for streaming devices like Chromecast, Roku or Apple TV around the world, and the percentage of consumers who planned to use them during the festive season to watch their favourite shows increased globally from 15% in 2015, to 19% in 2016*. However, is the growth in popularity of these devices limited by the physical number of HDMI slots in the average TV? And how can this influence the services consumers sign up for?

Watching TV on traditional and smart sets was still the number one choice for consumers during the festive season as over 85%* planned to watch TV this way during December. While the percentage who planned to watch TV shows on mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones has fallen from 2015, the slight shift from mobile to in-home viewing is on par with industry figures showing stronger sales of smart TVs that feature built-in OTT service compatibility – meaning more viewers have access to on-demand via the TV screen than ever before.

The TV is clearly still popular in households, however sets usually have on average only two HDMI ports. By the time you connect a set top box from a traditional satellite or cable provider plus a games console like PS4 or Xbox One, there is no space left for a streaming device to be plugged in.

Streaming device providers therefore, are not only competing against each other in the market but they are competing against other technologies for that coveted position in the back of the TV. Home entertainment centres, blu-ray players all need a HMDI port so it is understandable that consumers, especially those less tech savvy, would potentially seek alternative easy methods to access TV services e.g. using pre-installed apps within the TV itself or via alternative mobile devices instead of purchasing a streaming device then having no space or difficulties connecting it.

As consumers take a dip in, dip out approach to services to satisfy their viewing habits in 2017, device providers must provide good content, at a good price, with a good customer experience to succeed in the dual to ensure they secure one of those highly sought after spots.

Download our latest research paper, ‘OTT isn’t just for Christmas: The gift that keeps on giving’, to learn more about changing consumer TV watching habits.

*Paywizard research November 2016