By Tim Smith Sep 18 2012 Blog

The Once and Future King

Connected TV:  Strategy Analytics is reporting that the global Connected FPTV (flat-panel TV) market will grow at a healthy rate of 45% annually during 2012 to reach 91 million units. And while only 40% of all FPTVs sold in 2012 are projected to be internet-enabled, this figure is set to rise to nearly 80% of all FPTV unit sales in 2016.

Upgrades to smart TVs in the developed markets and increased demand in the developing regions will ensure growth will pick up towards the end of the forecast period in 2015 and 2016.  As more and more of this technology becomes adopted among manufacturers in the coming months and years, the opportunities associated with the space are going to skyrocket.

But even now we’re seeing that growth come in a variety of platforms.  A recent study by Frank N. Magid Associates shows that currently 21% of consumers connect to the web through their TVs, up from 16% in 2011.  What is interesting about this number is the fact that it is being driven by a variety of sources – from gaming consoles and peripherals like TiVos and Blu-Ray players, to smart TVs and stand-alone devices such as Apple TV and Roku.

Scale in the space was almost inadvertently delivered as a secondary feature on PS3s, Xbox 360s and Wiis, but we’re starting to see strong growth among the delivery of smart TVs to US consumers.  With an expected 18.1 million smart TVs to be sold in 2012, and households now upgrading LCD TVs once every 6 years, we should see significant growth in that segment over the next 18 months as the economy improves and people make upgrades.  This puts smart TVs on course to become the primary source for consumers within the connected TV space.