At the end of 2020, 34% of global households – more than 665 million – owned a smart TV. Sales of smart TVs grew by 7.4% in 2020 to reach 186 million units, accounting for 79% of all flat panel TVs sold.
Sales growth over the past year was strongest in North America where government stimulus cheques helped to drive an increase in spending on home entertainment products as consumers found themselves spending more time at home due to Covid-19 related restrictions.
Samsung was the leading smart TV manufacturer in terms of annual sales units for the ninth straight year in 2020 while TCL climbed above LG and into second place for the first time.
Meanwhile, the smart TV market continues to coalesce around a handful of TV streaming platforms or operating systems. Samsung’s Tizen leads the way but major third-party software platforms such as Android TV and Roku TV OS have made strong gains in recent years.
“Smart TV is a standard fit feature of most flat panel TVs sold today and so smart TV household penetration will inevitably continue to grow as consumers replace old sets with new modern smart-enabled versions,” said Edouard Bouffenie, Senior Analyst, Connected Home Devices.
“As smart functionality is no longer a point of differentiation but has become a check box necessity, smart TV manufacturers have had to make a choice between maintaining their own software and application ecosystems or licensing a software platform from a third-party partner,” added Bouffenie.
“While many have decided to partner with the likes of Google’s Android TV and Roku in order to avoid the ongoing costs of maintaining their own platform, several brands including Samsung, Vizio and LG are going it alone and are looking to capitalise on the fast-growing connected TV advertising business.”