Like after the establishment of every other product type, surveys and studies are being done to see how Smart TVs are settling in as a part of the consumer electronics market. The results aren't exactly promising.
That isn't to say that Smart TV's haven't been selling well. While normal monitors and HDTVs have retained their prominence, sales of Smart TVs have actually been quite decent.
It is the fate of those TVs after being sold that the NPD Group found troubling, after concluding its study into the matter.
Essentially, most people who own a smart TV fail to use it to its full potential, and those who do use some of its features seldom take advantage of apps.
For those that want numbers, 60% of smart TV owners use the TVs to access over-the-top video services, but less than 10% call upon apps for social networks (Twitter, Likedin), games or other small programs.
As for accessing the computer desktop from the TV, less than 5-6% do this.
“The less than great news is that the TV manufacturers are failing to make the TV more than, well, a TV. Further, we are seeing attached devices also focus heavily on TV and video-centric apps, Microsoft’s upcoming launch of more than 40 additional television apps for the Xbox Live subscription service is one example,” the NPD analyst noted.
The findings are rather perplexing really. By all accounts, all the advertisements and press releases lauding the versatility of smart TVs must have worked to at least a moderate extent. Otherwise, none of them would have sold.
That people buy such things only to use them as normal TVs afterwards begs the question of how much customers are willing to pay to satisfy their curiosity. By all accounts, the situation suggests that customers get them just to see for themselves what makes a smart TV smart, only to lose interest not long after.
Fortunately, the NPD report says that there has been a “reasonable consumer uptake” for streaming music apps, which suggests that people are getting more used to using smart TVs as they should be used.