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Parks: 8.1 Connected Devices in the Home Now, Downshift in CE Purchase Rates is Coming

June 29, 2017 By Steve Senne in

Recent consumer surveys reveal that 2017 levels of purchase intent for connected consumer electronics (CE) devices are relatively flat, when compared to 2016 and 2015. Long-term trend analysis reveals a downshift in the percentage of households making CE purchases, however, according to new market research from Parks Associates.

Household connected CE purchasing rates have dropped from 87% in 2008 to 74% in 2016, market research firm Parks Associates reports. Drilling down into the data, Parks found low buying patterns for game consoles (12%), connected Blu-ray players (5%) and DVRs (3%) contributed to the decline. Broadband households now own an average of 8.1 connected CE products in their homes, a 76% growth in the average volume of devices since 2010, according to Parks.

Consumer satisfaction with existing connected CE products, provided they work well, is an underlying factor, pointed out Parks’ founder, president and CEO Tricia Parks. “Many product categories are following predictable patterns. Consumers value their connected CE products, but there is no big purchase buzz except for personal assistants with voice, particularly the Amazon Echo. Its ‘wow factor’ is translating into true consumer excitement, interest, and adoption.”

Smart Speakers are the Exception

Smart speakers with personal assistants, such as Amazon Echo/Dot/Tap and Google Home, earned the highest marks in terms of Net Promoter Score (NPS) of all connected CE products covered in Parks’ latest survey.  Amazon Echo generated a lot in the way of excitement among connected CE buyers, prompting competitors to launch similar products and spark a round of new entries and options, Parks notes.

Greater broadband availability and market saturation for flat screens and smartphones are additional factors contributing to the decline, according to Parks. Furthermore, new connected CE device categories, such as 4K TVs and VR headsets, are still unfamiliar, inhibiting their ability to offset declining purchase rates among older, more established connected CE product categories.

 Other key takeaways from Parks’ “360 View: CE Adoption & Trends” include:

  • Nearly one-half of all broadband households have a smart TV.
  • Ownership of game consoles declined from 58% in 2016 to 49% in 2017.
  • 87% of virtual reality headset purchasers are first-time buyers.
  • 70% of streaming media player owners report using their devices 1-3 times or more per week.