Around 90% of U.S. households are connected to the internet via Broadband, and 44% of those homes are watching non-gaming online video apps via their games consoles. Streaming content from Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other sites via a PS4 or an xBox is more popular than watching via a DVR, a Connected TV, or even - despite the hype - a Google Chromecast.
Research carried out in Q1 of 2014, by Park Associates, "Connected Game Consoles", stated that for 44% of BB-connected homes, their games console was the primary device for watching online video, more specifically, video that was not related exclusively to video gaming. Around two-thirds of the 10,000 households surveyed watched video apps via their consoles at least once a week, with 40% of owners watching over 10 hours of streaming video content per week.
Nearly Half of U.S. Homes Use Gaming Consoles to Watch Video
Why are gaming consoles so popular for consuming non-gaming content? The report concludes that it is the high adoption rate of the device in BB-enabled homes. In fact, 60% of respondents confirmed that the games console was their only connected device (outside of the smartphone we presume?). The research confirms that 35% of U.S. Broadband connected homes house a Nintendo Wii, or a Microsoft Xbox, with 27% of households owning a Sony PlayStation. Overall, 62% of broadband-enabled homes own a connected games console, although that figure becomes much higher (80%) if there are children involved.
Barbara Kraus, Director of Research at Parks Associates said of the report:
As the non-gaming capabilities of consoles have expanded, so too has the potential for consoles to become an entertainment platform for online content such as video, music, and apps.
With 55% of US broadband households subscribing to an OTT video product like Amazon Prime, and the popularity and mass-adoption of the games console in the living room, as well as the bedroom, it's little wonder that the figures are so high.
Viewers Use Multiple Devices Depending on Their Needs
Viewers were also found to use different devices, depending on the content they wanted to watch. The report concluded that until the 'perfect' platform was developed, users would consume non-gaming content via the device they felt fitted their needs at the time.
The report can be accessed via the Parks Associate's site - although it comes with a $5000 price tag for the privilege.