Google has had a renewed interest in the TV market over the past year or two, and it seems those efforts are paying off. A new report projects the growth of smart TVs over the next few years and notes that Android TV has made “strong gains.”

A report published by Strategy Analytics (via FlatPanelsHD) forecasts the reach of televisions sold with a smart operating system over the next several years. By 2026, the report claims that over 50% of households globally will have at least one smart TV in the home. North America has already surpassed that milestone, and by 2026, is expected to cross 90%.

Helping to hit that goal is the pace at which smart TVs are being sold on a global basis. In 2020, smart TVs accounted for nearly 80% of all “flat panel TVs” sold. Notably, these figures are for TVs only, not for streaming devices such as Nvidia Shield, Chromecast, and similar devices.

As it stands today, Samsung holds the lead in this market, and in turn, the company’s Tizen operating system is the leading platform. However, it’s specifically noted in the report that Roku and Google’s Android TV have made “strong gains” in the market “in recent years.” Google last reported that Android TV had grown 80% in the US and surpassed 80 million active devices.

In the analyst report, this growth is largely attributed to the fact that platforms like those take much of the development and maintenance costs off of the TV maker. A senior analyst at Strategy Analytics explains:

As smart functionality is no longer a point of differentiation but has become a check box necessity, smart TV manufacturers have had to make a choice between maintaining their own software and application ecosystems or licensing a software platform from a third-party partner. While many have decided to partner with the likes of Google’s Android TV and Roku in order to avoid the ongoing costs of maintaining their own platform, several brands including Samsung, Vizio and LG are going it alone and are looking to capitalize on the fast growing Connected TV advertising business.

Speaking with TCL recently, the company told 9to5Google that it values Roku and Google TV/Android TV for their ecosystems, pointing to how it makes it easier to bring new apps and services to the company’s TVs. TCL just announced its Google TV lineup earlier today.

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Ben Schoon

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