Connected devices in the home

U.S. households had more than 1 billion connected devices as of February, according to NPD Group. The explosive growth of technology purchasing amid the COVID-19 pandemic drove a big jump in U.S. connected devices.

The firm’s “Device Ownership Trends & Profile Report” found that there was an increase of more than 100 million TV-connected and mobile devices in U.S. internet households between February 2020 and February 2021. At the end of the period of the study, Internet homes had an average of 9.5 installed and connected devices, an increase of 1 device per home from the start of the study.

Devices covered include connected TVs, streaming media players, Blu-ray disc players, video game consoles, laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones. The report was based on NPD’s Connected Home survey, which is received by 5,000 consumers above the age of 18. The study was in the field between January 25 and February 11, 2021.

U.S. Connected Devices

NPD predicts that streaming services will continue to grow. “Stay at home orders issued as a result of the pandemic played a part in the tremendous growth we saw in TV-connected and mobile devices last year as consumers looked for new or different ways to consume content while at home more often than they might otherwise be,” John Buffone, the Executive Director and Industry Analyst in NPD’s Connected Intelligence practice, said in a press release about the U.S. connected devices research. “This influx of newer hardware and the growing installed base will continue to facilitate the accelerated growth in free and subscription streaming video during 2021 and beyond.”

Other researchers have seen similar trends. Strategy Analytics reported in late January that tablet ownership grew 18% in 2020 compared to 2019. Use of the form factor as a less expensive option to laptops during the pandemic was cited as a driver of the growth.

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