The future is now: How smart TVs are driving smart living
With provisions for larger screens, better sound experience and latest features, smart TVs proved to be a better platform as compared to laptops or phones. And it's just going to get better.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, the customer behaviour changed drastically and the digital disruption which we expected over the next five years, expedited. During the lockdown, there was a huge pent-up demand for smart TVs. So, when the government allowed sale of non-essential items, there was a boom in demand for Android TVs.
A time came when companies were out of stock, but component factories had not resumed manufacturing. Hence, there was a rise in prices of raw materials. But, with the festive season, the industry saw huge growth. Hence overall, despite slow growth in 2019, the smart TV industry grew significantly in 2020 and is expected to value $13.31 billion by 2021.
So, what has driven the growth?
During the lockdown, users had no source of entertainment and turned to their television sets to enjoy content, games, music, podcasts and videos. Most of the production houses also started to make content for the larger screens by using technology like Dolby digital DTS, Dolby vision, etc. As a result, there was a huge shift from consuming content on smartphones, to smart TVs.
With provisions for larger screens, better sound experience and latest features, smart TVs proved to be a better platform as compared to laptops or phones. As a result, Smart TVs captured 90% of Indian market in 2020 (from 78% in 2019).
Today, India is the fastest-growing OTT market and by 2024 it is expected to be the sixth largest market in the world. We are also the second largest market for social networking and free video apps. Hence, the demand for Smart TVs will also continue to grow.
The use of smart TVs is not only for entertainment, but it also helps manage the smart homes. One of the key enablers for smart TVs has been the Google Assistant along with the help of AI technology. Smart TVs are a one-stop platform for smart living. Once integrated into the smart home, they operate appliances, lighting, security system along with helping with latest movies on rent to news and weather reports, etc.
Android has become an essential part of televisions today, and one out of every three TVs in India is an Android TV. The next disrupter in this would be the voice command experience. We are already working on options where the customer will not have to press a voice command button, and instead the TV will respond to audio instructions. Such upgrades will help provide seamless customer experience and further strengthen the role of smart TVs in smart living.
Make in India
The Atma Nirbhar Bharat campaign has encouraged home grown brands to invest in R&D to create products in India, for Indians. What was expected over next five years was achieved in one year. This growing sentiment provides an opportunity for India to strengthen its manufacturing capabilities as well. During the lockdown, the price of raw materials such as panels increased by 160%! This calls for a strong TV manufacturing base in India.
Along with this, the ‘Make in India' sentiment has also led to a rise in content built in vernacular languages. Hence, the demand for smart TVs from smaller towns has also increased rapidly. The trend is expected to continue and we are already working on content in various regional languages through AI technology.
Hence, smart TVs are driving smart living in the post covid-19 “new normal” as lifestyles have changed and so have the expectations from technology. Smart TVs are an integrated solution to work from home, learn from home and enjoy at home.
This article has been written by Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd, A Kodak Brand Licensee.