While Android TV could be considered to be a little stagnant at the moment, a new report from Irdeto and Ovum looks to highlight that the future of Android TV looks fairly bright. The report, Is Android the future of the set-top box?, involved questioning industry professionals to see if and how they plan to make use of the Android TV platform in the future. The engagement occurred during February 2017 and saw feedback from over 300 TV industry professionals, from different parts of the world, and from different avenues of the industry, including network operators, streaming services, telcos, security specialists, and more.
The results highlighted some very interesting findings with the most headline of which being that 72-percent of those responded, noted that they see Android TV – or the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) in general – as part of their roadmap. Both in the short and long term. With 63-percent essentially noting that they see either Android TV or AOSP as the likely operating system driving their future set-top boxes. However, it does seem that of those surveyed, there is a gross misunderstanding of the difference between Android TV and AOSP, which is why the two have essentially been grouped together in the findings, with Ovum noting that nearly a half of those surveyed were unable to adequately differentiate between the two platforms.
In either case, the report does highlight that Android TV/AOSP is being seen as a very fundamental part of the future of TV services and platforms. With Ovum summing up the findings by stating that "the consensus is that Android TV will be central to the evolution of the pay-TV experience on STBs on a global basis going forward." One of the reasons for this seems to be a mixture of optimism in the platform and fear of the platform's potential. For instance, Ovum notes that "a majority of individual respondents" saw Google and by association Android TV/AOSP as "both a partner and a threat." Which leads to the assumption that if nothing else, the potential for Android TV/AOSP in the TV market, is in one way or another, resulting in companies viewing it as a viable option. In fact, the report also goes on to note that 68-percent of those surveyed, expect Android TV/AOSP to be "the market-leading TV platform" by 2025.
Of course, expectations could not be so high if Android TV/AOSP did not have the fundamental basics in place to begin with, and it seems that those surveyed view Android TV as one of the richest options currently available to consumers. With aspects like the user experience and convenience being cites as two of the main benefits. Although, in spite of its value and expected rise over the next few years, the same respondents are concerned with some aspects, and most notable, security. With some (less than half) surveyed specifically noting Android TV/AOSP's ability to facilitate illegal streaming (41-percent) and its proneness to cyberthreats (43-percent) as the two most concerning aspects for the platform.