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Streaming Devices Will Overtake Blu-ray Players In 2014, Says US Study

Photo of Roku 3 Streaming Media Player
Sean Fang Thu, 02/05/2013 - 23:07

Respected research firm The NPD Group has released a report showing the rapid growth of streaming in the United States, and predicts that by this time next year, the number of connected devices will outgrow the number of Blu-ray players.

The survey of more than 4,000 US consumers found that 40% of owners of Internet connected TVs were already using Netflix, compared to 17% that used YouTube and only 11% that used Hulu Plus.

But even though the study found that the bulk of streamed viewing were done on connected Blu-ray players and TVs due to the sheer number of devices out there, these devices on averages were the least likely to be used for online content. Instead, the NPD found a remarkable rise in the use of streaming media players, such as the Apple TV device, or the increasingly popular Roku streamer. Game consoles were the next most likely device to be used for online content, while Blu-ray players and smart TVs were further behind.

The low cost of dedicated media streamers, USD $99 for Apple TV and less than USD $50 for the basic Roku player, may have been key factors for viewers, as are these device's better user experience when compared to the "bolt-on" nature of the apps included with Blu-ray players and TVs.

Or as NPD analyst John Buffone explains: "... the new generation of streaming media devices are optimized for content delivery, providing a more compelling interface that will aid in consumer discovery of new services, especially when compared to Blu-ray disc players".

Another study from The Diffusion Group found that gamers in the US now spend a quarter of the time watching videos, most likely via streaming services, on their game consoles, as opposed to playing games.