New research shows that connected TV use grew 75% between 2016 and 2017. With Roku’s impressive Q1 2018 and possible help from Apple, the TV looks to keep on growing.
Chapter 1: Connected TV use increases 75% (1:40)
The PC has seen declining use as a video device for some time. However, in 2016 it dominated the consumption of premium video. Conviva data shows that in Q1 2016, between 9 and 10 p.m. the PC averaged 5.4 million play requests and the connected TV 5.1. Just one year later, the number of play requests to the connected TV increased 75%, to 8.9 million, and PC requests decreased by a third to 3.7 million.
The PC suffered declines in usage in all eight countries featured in the study. Between 2016 and 2017, the PC lost share of video plays in every country featured. Its share of video plays fell 27% in Spain and Germany, for example. However, it remains the most important device for premium video in China, Canada, Australia, and Norway. China stands out. The number of video plays to the PC declined sharply between Q1 2016 and 2017, from 72% to 58%. Though the Chinese are watching much more on their mobiles, they still watch the most on their PC.
The connected TV, on the other hand, is only a major factor in four of the countries studied: UK, US, Spain, and Norway.
Chapter 2: Roku steaming forward (6:40)
Roku increased active accounts by 8% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and 47% year-over-year (YoY,) to reach 20.8 million. The company has gained accounts in every quarter they have reported (back to Q3 2016.) The company says half of the 1.5 million new accounts came from platforms that license the Roku platform, and most of those were from smart TVs.
Roku continues to make progress with its smart TV business. It says that 25% of all smart TVs sold in the US in Q1 2018 were Roku TVs, up from 20% one year ago. It expanded its licensing relationship with Funai to cover the Magnovox brand and added Sanyo in Canada.
Chapter 3: Apple may enable subscriptions in TV app (16:20)
Bloomberg reported on a rumor that Apple will enable subscriptions within its TV app on Apple TV. The app allows single-sign-on access to TV Everywhere apps from pay TV operators and TV programmers. However, a user can’t use Apple to subscribe to SVOD apps. Bloomberg says Apple may enable that ability.
If Apple does allow users to subscribe to SVOD apps through the TV app it will bring the company into competition with Amazon’s Channels program. Amazon is now successfully marketing and allowing Prime members to subscribe to over a hundred SVOD services through channels.
Were Apple to do this it would be very late to the market. Amazon has been reselling SVOD services for two years and has proven very adept at marketing them to existing subscribers. Perhaps releasing some of the Apple originals exclusively through the TV app might provide an extra incentive for consumers to use the app.