Internet TV users favor video

Study finds music streaming also outpaces game play

Content owners should be pleased with the results of a study by market research firm NPD Group, which shows that over-the-top video was the most common broadband activity on an Internet-connected TVs. Some 59% of consumers with connected sets watched streamed movies and TV shows, more than triple the 16% who streamed music, the activity ranked second in the study.

These numbers tend to reinforce consumer-spending figures compiled by trade org Digital Entertainment Group. In 2012, says DEG, U.S. consumers spent $2.34 billion on subscription streaming, up almost 46% from the prior year.

Facebook may have a billion active members, but most of them are not friending via their TV sets. According to NPD, only 6% of consumers with Internet-connected TV sets use them to access the world’s biggest social media site. That tied for fifth place, along with shopping and playing free casual games, among uses for the devices.

Why do so many consumers use their Internet-connected television sets only for video? NPD cites two reasons: Many applications, including Twitter, Facebook and Web browsing, are more suited to computers, tablets or smart phones. Also, the plethora of choices can lead to a complex and confused user experience.

As a result, Internet TV gives the upper hand to the activity that has dominated the culture since the dawn of television: sitting and watching.