Retail Observer

February 2021

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 47 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM FEBRUARY 2021 48 B y now everyone has heard the term "cord cutters." These are the folks or families that once paid for cable or satellite TV services but have since cancelled them. Now, there is an even newer household segment taking shape that is being referred to as "cord nevers." These households are expanding the TV revolution by never having paid for cable. Their numbers, as you may have guessed, are growing. The good news for consumers is that aside from the price of a premium subscription or an Amazon Fire TV Stick, viewers don't necessarily have to pay any extra to join the ranks of the untethered. What's more, today's smart TVs, like the premium models from Samsung and LG Electronics, come with many of the most popular streaming apps already on board. This negates the need for dongles, Roku hardware or other aftermarket streaming devices, and more end users are taking advantage of these built-in apps than ever before. Indeed, as research by has found, pay TV households have declined every year since 2018. Last year 82.9 million U.S. households still subscribed to some form of cable service, while 44.3 million did not. This year expect the figures to shift to 79.4 million with cable and 48.3 million without. Meanwhile, over-the-top (OTT) media services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ were accessed by 191 million (!) households last year, and the number is only expected to climb in 2021. Interestingly, 56 percent of the respondents in a survey said they prefer having multiple OTT subscription options. That means TVs — including the Samsung and LG sets offered through Expert Warehouse, the consumer tech distribution arm of the AVB/BrandSource buying group — can readily accommodate these updated viewing models through their smart platforms. Like Roku devices, smart TV platforms are required by OTT services for quick menu response and a smooth, uninterrupted video stream. The quad-core and higher processors in the latest LG and Samsung TVs can easily handle these demands in a flash. What's more, both LG and Samsung offer plenty of models that readily connect with the various IoT platforms already in place in many homes, so no need to worry about smart-home compatibility. Also, searching for content is text- and voice-driven on these sets, and you can even set up a smart dashboard to control lighting, baby monitors, smart locks, HVAC and more from your TV. In addition, phone connectivity lets your iPhone or Android device act as a second remote, and allows you to operate your mobile apps, including those that control major appliances, right on the TV screen. LG and Samsung also offer proprietary, and complimentary, content, such as LG Channels, a 24/7 run of free programming that ranges from sports to movies to Bob Ross "Joy of Painting" episodes. Similarly, Samsung TV Plus offers Samsung TV owners 160 channels of news, sports and entertainment at no extra charge. So Stephen Paczkowski Consumer Electronic Trends OTT'S GOTTA HOLD ON ME: FROM CORD CUTTERS TO CORD NEVERS

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