24/02/2021 - MINAL MODHA
Are smart TVs the primary video screens for watching online video?

As more content is viewed online, a cross-device presence for service providers becomes increasingly important to ensure that all potential viewers have easy access to their platforms. Globally, smart TVs and smartphones are almost tied in the frequency with which connected consumers use them to watch online video. 48% of internet users watch smart TVs daily, compared to 46% who use smartphones every day.


There are geographical differences with this. In mature markets, consumers are turning to smart TVs to watch the bulk of their online video content. This is highest in the US where 53% report using these devices every day, while half of consumers in Spain also view at this frequency. However, in emerging markets, there is a much higher daily use of smartphones due to low fixed-broadband penetration and high smartphone penetration. Usage is highest in China and India, where nearly three quarters of internet users watch online video on their smartphones every day.

 For service providers this means that localising distribution strategies is key. In 2019, Netflix launched a mobile-only plan in India with subsidised pricing to entice the large audiences who only view via this device. This strategy has been emulated by Amazon Prime in 2021. Netflix plans to roll this model out in other markets, and Amazon Prime it may well follow suit. Placing more importance on the devices used most frequently will ensure the widest reach possible and as online viewing continues to grow, platforms must remain as agile as possible to engage the largest possible audiences. 

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