Shocker: NPD Finds that Consumers Want Content, Not “Smart Features”


Consumers want content – movies, TV shows, and more – more than they want “smart features.” That idea flies in the face of what various television manufacturers are offering, with more and more jumping on the bandwagon of offering a TV that presents information such as weather and stocks, or integration with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

This data comes by way of the NPD, who reports that the preference is caused more by manufacturers creating confusing products:

To counter this, OEMs and retailers need to focus less on new innovation in this space and more on simplification of the user experience and messaging if they want to drive additional, and new, behaviors on the TV.

Access to services like HBO Go and Netflix was found to be a much, much higher priority than being able to tweet what show they were watching. I feel that much of this is obvious, given how we interface with current televisions: if a TV is going to begin taking more functionality from a computer, there will have to be a massive change in how they are used. The current remote control model is simply too constricted to serve as a replacement for a touchscreen or keyboard and mouse.

This report comes just after Intel was rumored to be producing a cable box that allowed for a channel-based subscription model. Such a model would allow many to cut down on how much they spend on television programming by only subscribing to the channels they are interested in, as opposed to buying a package that includes dozens – if not hundreds – of channels that are going to never be used.

Those talks, by the way, are said to be under intense scrutiny and may never proceed because of objection from the content providers and cable corporations.


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