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Published on August 23rd, 2017 | by Brad Gibson

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Apple TV market share falls 5%; Roku remains leader

Roku is the number one selling streaming media player in the U.S. controlling 37% of the market as Apple and its Apple TV device fell to 15% from 20% in a year, according to new first quarter 2017 numbers from the market research firm Park Associates.

The numbers show the biggest and only market share jump for Amazon and its Fire TV Stick of eight points from 16% to 24%, putting the three-year old device second in installed units. Google’s Chromecast was third at 18%, down from 20% in the first quarter of 2016.

The largest market share drop was the Apple TV player in fourth falling five percentage points to 15%.

 

The numbers clearly show higher-priced devices, such as the Apple TV, have not been able to keep up with low-priced and readily available Roku devices, which can be found at Walmart for as low as $29.99.

“That makes somewhat of a compelling buy that I can drop a few dollars and I get access to all this content,” Glenn Hower, Senior Analyst, at Parks Associates, told BESTAppleTV.com. “That’s a pretty feasible buy-in.”

Hower sees consumer availability and price as two issues contributing to Apple TV’s market share drop.

“A fourth-generation Apple TV is $40 more than the top-of-the-line Roku Ultra,” he said. “That’s an issue. And then there’s availability of content. Roku is the only one offering Netflix, Amazon Prime, and GoogePlay movies all on one device. That’s not something that Apple can boast.”

Hower believes that despite the fact that Roku has created good options for consumers, Amazon has done well to tie in their hardware to their streaming service and offer special discounted deals on Amazopn Prime together with a Fire device.

“The way Amazon bundles things into the Prime services and how they were able to leverage their Fire devices along with their streaming video service I think played a pretty key role in their share jump,” he said.

Hower said there is some indication that the stand-alone streaming media player market is “leveling off” and adoption of Smart TVs with built-in Roku or Chromecast technology is growing in popularity. Apple does not license its tvOS for use in third party televisions, nor does it have its own stand-alone TV with that technology built-in.

A third of U.S. broadband households now own a streaming device, according to Hower. 45% own a smart TV, and consumers bought over 15.6 million smart speakers in 2016.

“It’ll be really interesting to see how Apple deals with adversity in the streaming media player market moving forward because they haven’t really seen it the way they’re seeing it right now (with a dropping streaming player market share) for quite some time,” Hower commented.

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About the Author

has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years.



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