IDC: New Zealand Now a Global Leader in Smart TV Adoption

New Zealand consumers, driven by increasing demand for video streaming services, are now a global leader in the adoption of smart TVs, according to IDC. New Zealanders now own an average of 4.2 electronic devices, of which 77% are smart devices, up from 67% in 2017. Smart TVs are now the third-most-used smart device in New Zealand homes behind smartphones and laptops. With an adoption rate of 44%, New Zealand comes second only to South Korea in smart TV adoption and above the worldwide average of 39%.

The adoption rate for Ultra HD TVs in New Zealand has doubled to 20% in the past 12 months, slightly above the worldwide average of 19%. However, less than half of UHD TV buyers in New Zealand say that the UHD capability influenced their purchasing decision. Market analyst Alex Yuen said this suggests that over half of New Zealand consumers purchased UHD TVs for their in-built smart capabilities, rather than the UHD picture quality. He added:

“It downloadis a testament to New Zealander’s tech savvy that both smart and UHD TV adoption rates now exceed the worldwide average. It reinforces the underlying trend we have seen in recent years, where New Zealand’s overall digital uptake has been steadily growing, to the point where it has reached global parity and is now quietly exceeding other countries in many areas”.

A major factor driving smart TV adoption has been New Zealand’s growing thirst for online video streaming services. In 2018, 33% of New Zealanders were streaming online video, up from 26% in 2017. The worldwide average for online video streaming is now also at 33%. In previous years, New Zealand had trailed worldwide adoption by an average of 3%. This increase further highlights the convergence of New Zealand with worldwide consumer preferences. Yuen said that smart TV owners are also more likely to value high-speed connections and high-quality entertainment. He continued:

“High-speed connectivity is increasingly important as the delivery backbone of high-quality entertainment. Our research shows that subscribers to online video streaming services are more likely to own a smart TV, as well as a smartphone. The combination of these two devices allows consumers to access their favourite shows anywhere they have a connection. These same subscribers also value smart capabilities more than the average consumer. They are more likely to want the best entertainment experience and more likely to spend to attain it”.

IDC’s ConsumerScape 360 report series compares digital adoption of devices and services across 19 countries. It highlights the growing importance of digital technologies and services in consumers’ lives and shows that New Zealand leads the way in many aspects of digital adoption. According to Yuen, the silver lining for both hardware vendors and online video streaming providers is that smart TVs will become the new normal as adoption grows and that online video streaming will steadily replace linear television.