IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS) announced Friday important findings from its Connected Device Market Monitor (CDMM), which looks at important data and trends for devices worldwide over pay-TV multi-screen and over-the-top (OTT) markets. By the end of last year, there were 8.18 billion connected devices globally, including smartphones, personal computers, audio hardware, tablets, television-attached devices, and televisions.
This data has implications for broadband infrastructure, media consumption, and media production, according to IHS Technology Principal Analyst Merrick Kingston. These devices bump IP traffic and media consumption, he added.
Interestingly, Netflix addressed 339 million connected devices in the US over the same time period, representing 32% of the devices in the country. Mr. Kingston stated that the world’s largest online TV network’s global footprint is evidence of its “unrivaled device strategy.”
The service’s popularity turns it into a “de facto rival” to other video streaming services in its domestic market. “The company indicated the days when a multiscreen pay TV service could uniquely lay claim to a device or platform were effectively gone,” he said.
Additionally, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) thrashed Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in TV sales for the first time during the first quarter. While 1.7 million Apple TVs were sold during the period, Chromecast unit sales was almost double at 3.2 million.
Mr. Kingston expects this trend to continue, as Chromecast is considered a veritable bargain at a price 1/4th of the $149 Apple TV. He highlighted that Google and Apple have undertaken extremely different strategies following the rollout of the fourth-generation Apple TV.
The research firm said that smartphones accounted for about half a million new devices on year-over-year basis in the market and have become the largest source of connected devices (41%) last year with 3,377 units. OTT set tops and tablets are also increasing rapidly but far behind smartphones. IHS expects the ratio of smartphone to tablet, which is currently 4.6:1, would increase to about 10:1 by 2020.