8 out of 10 people that have chosen to connect their Blu-ray players to the Internet are using it to stream or download video content online
New data from research group NPD has revealed that an absolute majority of all Blu-ray users with Internet connected players are using their players to streaming Internet content.
Blu-ray players became the perfect trojan horse for Internet video streaming, thanks to the built-in Net connectivity in most players, and the ability to install apps. This has allowed Netflix, Hulu and other streaming video-on-demand services to establish a foothold in people's homes, without having to rollout their own set-top boxes.
Just how many homes are actually using the "smart" functions on their Blu-ray players, and other connected devices, is not something easy to find out. But data from last year showed a dramatic jump in the bandwidth usage of services like Netflix, and so, along with game consoles, connected Blu-ray players seems to be amongst the most popular ways to access video content online.
And the NPD's latest data not only confirms this. 80% of those surveyed who have a Net connected Blu-ray player say they've used it for streaming content - this compares to 69% of connected TV users, and 64% of connected game console users. While this does not prove that most people are getting their online fix from Blu-ray players - gamers are more likely to have their consoles connected online than your average Blu-ray user - it does seem to indicate a rather dramatic shift towards online content.
Online viewing on tablets and smartphones still lag somewhat behind, with only 15% of users actually using services like Netflix and Hulu, but this number is growing, says the NPD.
And there are also signs of the on-going "mainstreaming" of online viewing. "Once primarily the domain of tech-savvy young male early adopters, downloading entertainment content to tablets, TVs and game consoles is now much more common among regular American moms, dads - and their kids, too," explained Russ Crupnick, SVP of industry analysis for The NPD Group.
And it's not just video. 1 in 3 smartphone and connected TV users now stream music or listen to Internet radio stations.