42 million U.S., European homes watching OTT shows, movies on their TVs, says Strategy Analytics

More than 42 million homes in the United States and Europe use the Internet to watch television shows and movies on their television, according to a report released last week by Strategy Analytics.

Additionally, the report, "Multiscreen Connected TV: Assessing Device Usage and Ownership," said connected TV use is twice as popular in the United States as in Europe. Drawing on a survey of 4800 respondents, Strategy Analytics found that 20 percent of U.S. respondents reported watching Internet TV content on their TVs in the past month, while only 10 percent of Europeans said they did so. According to the report, the strength of services like Netflix and Hulu in the United States accounts for the difference.

The report also addresses how TV viewers watch content via the Internet. In the United States, the most popular method is watching via a game console, the report said. In Europe, attaching a TV to a PC via an HDMI cable and accessing the Internet via the computer is the most popular approach. Other important methods used in the United States and Europe include streaming over a home network and via an Internet-connected Blu-ray player.

The findings show TV viewers will to go to "significant lengths to watch their preferred television shows or movies on the big screen," said David Mercer, principal analyst and the report's author.

"In spite of the technical challenges, many people want to be freed from the constraints of traditional, managed television services if their choice of content is not available when they want, where they want, and at a price they are willing to pay," he added.

The report draws on the findings of the Strategy Analytics 2011 ConsumerMetrix Survey conducted online in July 2011. The sample consisted of 2000 individuals in the United States and 2801 in Europe ages 15 to 74 years.