How Technology is Shaping Our Entertainment Habits




woman on tablet

woman on tabletIt’s only natural that our entertainment habits change as technology changes, but how much of an impact does technology actually have on how we watch content? Hub Entertainment Research, one of the industry leaders in digital TV and entertainment market research, recently conducted a study that gives us a little insight. 

This survey was conducted in March of this year and the 5,002 respondents were aged 16-74. Data was weighted to reflect the US Census, so this should be a fairly accurate representation of the population

Here’s what we found:

To start, people are upgrading their televisions more than they’re upgrading their streaming devices. 31% of homes in 2019 had either a 4K or an 8K television in 2019 compared to 34% in 2020. 11% of people say they have an 8K TV now and 9% say they’re “very likely” to buy one in the next year. 

Among people that already have a 4K TV, 56% say they have actually watched 4K content (up from 49% last year). 

And since almost all new televisions these days are smart, people aren’t buying external streaming devices as often (devices like the Roku Streaming Stick and the Firestick). Overall ownership percentage was flat from last year, but the percent of homes with a Roku smart TV grew from 18 to 22% and Fire TVs rose from 14 to 15% ownership. 

When you combine both smart TVs and sticks/boxes, 35% of homes have a Roku device (up from 30%) and 26% have an Amazon Fire device (up from 23% to 26%). Added together, 61% of homes have an Amazon Fire or Roku streaming device. 

And streaming video isn’t just limited to the TV of course. 30% of people say they watch premium video (a streaming service they pay for) on a smart phone – up from 23%. But that’s likely to keep rising as the experience gets better.

In the 2020 version of this study, more users said it was “very easy” to watch content on a mobile device than last year and more called the overall experience “excellent” than before. Mobile was by far the only device to see this much of an improvement, but it still ranked only above tablet and computer in overall ease of use (TV, videogame system, DVR, and streaming media player led the way). 

In short, here are a few takeaways from how connected devices are shaping consumers:

  • People aren’t buying external devices for their televisions as much, instead they’re just buying new smart televisions
  • 61% of homes have either a Roku streaming device or an Amazon Fire streaming device
  • Still less than a third of people report watching streaming content from a smart phone, but they are finding the experience easier and better 

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