CES 2024 Signals Tightening Smart TV OS Race

CES 2024 Signals Tightening Smart TV OS Race

Note: This article relates to the Variety VIP+ special report “The State of Smart TV,” available for subscribers only.

If you don’t know what CES is really all about: It’s about smart TVs, stupid.

That’s why Variety Intelligence Platform timed its latest special report on these devices to the beginning of the new year, even though there were plenty of new developments to share about the category at the weeklong event that followed. 

SEE ALSO: Why Data Suggests U.S. Smart TV Surge

New data from Parks Associates released at CES confirmed what VIP+’s own deep dive had already indicated: Samsung’s Tizen was still the clear leader in the third quarter of 2023, capturing 35% of the market. While that represents a slight decline from Q1, it’s still a commanding share, roughly equal to the combined share of second through fourth-place finishers: webOS from LG, SmartCast from Vizio and Roku TV OS, respectively. 

Nevertheless, Sarah Lee, research analyst at Parks Associates, observed, “But these and other options are likely to become more competitive in the coming years.”

This year’s CES certainly made that clear, or should we say “transparent,” which may have been the most hyped attribute of the monitors on display at the annual Las Vegas-based convention notorious for somewhat impractical innovations in screen technology. (Anyone remember rollable screens? How about curved ones?)

Samsung and LG each exhibited its own take on what could be called see-through TV sets, which more or less disappear from sight when they aren’t turned on.

SEE ALSO: Increasing Competition Tunes in a Booming Market

Roku used CES to tout its own branded TV sets, the Roku Pro Series, due to arrive in stories in the spring. But what it didn’t mention is that TCL, the Chinese OEM that was instrumental in driving its success as a third-party embed in non-Roku TV sets in previous years, went with Google TV instead of Roku for a new line of QLED TVs. Google TV had also previously replaced Roku as another favored OS to another OEM, Hisense.

Amazon scored a major coup at CES by extending its relationship with Panasonic, which announced that all of its new smart TVs would be powered by Fire TV, which is of more strategic importance to the tech giant than just selling hardware. Still, it will boost Amazon’s share of a market in which it is currently an also-ran, potentially setting up the company for even more partnerships with OEMs down the road. 

And there could be yet more market entrants to complicate this race. Last year, Tivo parent company Xperi indicated its intent to break into the U.S. smart TV market after launching in Europe.

Smart TV operating systems are certainly important to consumers. Research firm Omdia shared new research at CES that found functionality was the most important purchase driver when compared with other factors, including screen size, brand and energy efficiency.

Now dig into a data-fueled VIP+ subscriber report …

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