The rise of Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice-assistant support for smart TVs will drive future consumer purchase decisions
The global unit-share of smart TVs rose from 45 percent of total TV shipments in 2015 to 64 percent in 2017. It is expected to reach 70 percent of all TV shipments in 2018. Global TV shipments are recovering in 2018, due to increased price erosion from declining LCD TV panel prices, with shipments rising 3.5 percent to 223 million units, according to IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.
“Global growth is expected in all regions this year, and positive annual unit growth is forecast to continue during the buildup toward the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo,” said Paul Gagnon, research and analysis executive director, IHS Markit. “The rise of streaming video availability worldwide, especially for special events like the World Cup and Olympics, along with continued growth for global streaming video services, have encouraged strong growth in smart TV sales in recent years.”
Consumers increasingly consider streaming to be a basic TV function of comparable importance to off-air broadcast reception. Streaming remains the only way to access ultra-high-definition (UHD) content for most consumers, with smart TV reinforcing the value of 4K resolution screens, which are now being sold at mass-market prices. At the same time, the effect of government-imposed mandatory interactivity for TV services in Brazil and Argentina has boosted Latin America into the top three global regions for smart TV adoption.
“The increased availability and integration of Amazon Alexa, Google Home and other popular digital voice assistants will further increase demand for smart TVs in 2018 and beyond,” Gagnon said. “Streaming video is also the most common way for consumers to view 4K content while broadcast and pay TV options are limited, further fueling smart TV adoption.”
Android is currently the most popular smart TV operating system platform, including both the full Android TV implementation and modified versions used by many Chinese TV brands. IHS Markit expects Android will continue to gain share through 2022, as a common third-party platform with native support for Google Home. Proprietary smart TV platforms from Samsung (Tizen) and LGE (WebOS) are the second- and third-most popular smart TV operating system platforms.
According to the latest forecast from IHS Markit, Roku TV and Fire TV, currently only available in North America, will gain share, as brands seek common platforms from increased margin pressure. Over the next five years, Roku TV is expected to expand beyond North America. Fire TV might also become available in other regions, provided the US partnership between Amazon and Best Buy is successful.
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