As I type this, there are 315,104,800 people in the U.S – or so says the Census Bureau’s “Pop Clock.” But according to a report released today by the market research firm The NPD Group, there are 425 million devices connected to the Internet in U.S. homes.
That’s right. If NPD’s survey-based estimate is correct, there are now 35% more computers, smart phones, tablets and game consoles in the U.S. than there are human beings.
NPD’s Connected Home report found that while computers are still the primary connected device, numerous others are “diminishing the computer’s relevance to the broadband content marketplace. This trend is being fueled by devices such as gaming consoles and Blu-ray Disc players adding to the number of Internet connected HDTVs, and the connectivity piped directly to the TV itself. Strong consumer retail sales in developing categories such as tablets and smartphones are also impacting the traditional computer’s share of Internet connected devices.”
The NPD report predicts a shift towards more screen-sharing across devices by the end of 2013. Smaller screens such as the smartphone have the greatest reach now with an estimated 133 million users, with tablets contributing another 31.8 million screens. But the development of the shared screen experience, allowing users to project from smart phones or tablets onto their TVs, is producing a convergence of devices (or “ecosystems” as NPD terms them) and will “allow for over-the-top content to become even more prominent on the TV,” NPD says.
The NPD report was based on a survey of 4,000 U.S. consumers. E-readers were excluded from the survey “due to the limited content array they offer.”