Streaming Video Devices to Hit 8 Billion by 2017

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With Netflix programming now winning Emmy Awards, doubt is fading about whether streaming video is the future of TV. While competing companies such as Hulu and Amazon are heating up the streaming competition, hardware manufacturers are also competing to sell the screens on which subscribers watch their streaming shows and movies.

Market research firm IHS today released a new report estimating that the total install base for internet-connected video devices will reach 8.2 billion by 2017. As the firm points out, that will be more than one device for every person on the planet at that point (an estimated 7.4 billion).

“On average every human being in the world will possess more than one Internet-connected video device by the year 2017 - a major milestone for the electronics market,” said Merrick Kingston, senior analyst for broadband technology, at IHS. “In practice, ownership of Internet-connected hardware will be concentrated among users whose homes are equipped with broadband connections. We’re quickly approaching a world where the average broadband household contains 10 connected, video-enabled devices. This means that each TV set installed in a broadband-equipped home will be surrounded by three Internet-connected devices.”

Of course, that number doesn't just take into account streaming boxes for TVs. It includes a wide range of connected devices, such as tablets, smartphones, video game consoles, TVs themselves, and nearly any type of computer.

IHS predicts the growth in video streaming device sales will follow the pattern predicted for tablet and smartphone sales. Though growth is slowing for such devices in the west, a major growth spurt is predicted for emerging markets such as China.

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