Hardware streaming_media_player_installed_base_q1_2018_2

Published on May 31st, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


First on BATV: Apple TV #3 in streaming devices as Amazon Fire grows share, report finds

Apple TVs share of streaming devices in U.S. households remains at 15 percent edging Google’s Chromecast to take third place among the four major brands but is still being beat out by Roku more than two-to-one, according to new data from market research company Parks Associates.

Roku continues to dominate the market for streaming devices with 37 percent of the devices used in American homes, unchanged from the same period a year ago. Amazon, with its Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices, was the only manufacturer to increase its installed base, jumping four percent to 28 percent and remaining in second place among all brands.

Apple’s Apple TV maintained its 15 percent installed base with no change from last year while Google’s Chromecast gave up a four percent share to Amazon slipping to 14 percent and relinquishing its number three ranking to Apple TV. Chromecast has lost seven percentage points in share in the last two years. It did not update its Chromecast line up last year.

streaming media market share Q1 2018Amazon took four percent of the streaming media device installed base from Google Chromecast in the first quarter, moving Apple TV up to third place among players. (Data source: Parks Associates)

Together in a smaller group making up a total of six percent market share, all other streaming media devices ranked fifth with a four percent share bunched together with Sony PlayStation and TiVo tied for sixth with one percentage point each.

The good news for Apple is that while Amazon has been increasing its market share on the back of cheaper prices and the popularity of its Alexa Voice Remote smart speaker technology, Apple TV is maintaining its customer base. The bad news…its popularity and sales are not growing as fast as more inexpensive devices that are staying up with Apple TVs features and ease-of-use.

Parks Associates research analyst Kristen Hanich attributes Apple’s 15 percent share to a total installed base that is actually growing, albeit marginally. 

“That installed base is actually growing a fair amount year-over-year,” Hanich told BESTAppleTV.com. “Their share of the installed base is holding pretty steady. They’ve had a little bit of growth in terms of device penetration. We believe the addition of the Apple TV 4K edition has been to their benefit in maintaining this installed base as well as the popularity of the Siri remote and its ease of use.

“In terms of the overall numbers, it’s not that much of a difference (for Apple TV). They’re at least moving in a positive direction.”

Hanich commented that growth in streaming media players has been in the more inexpensive devices like those from Roku, Amazon and Google, versus the Apple TV which starts at $179. Having a few blockbuster years in terms of units sales, Hanich believes Amazon has used their websites to increase exposure for its Fire devices.

“Amazon has offered really aggressive pricing and bundled the device with special offers,” she said. “They’ve also tied in with these devices the Echo smart speaker that has also grown in popularity and tied with it the Amazon Prime membership.” 

The dominance of Roku is clearly evident in the companies number one ranking for more than four years. “They are growing at about the same rate as the overall installed base,” she said. “They have a lot of mindshare among consumers. They appeal to pretty much every level of the market. Putting premium features in lower-priced devices has been an added advantage.”

Altogether, nearly 40 percent of U.S. broadband households now own a streaming device, according to Parks estimates. More than half own a smart TV, and more than 70 percent of streaming media player owners use their device at least once a week, compared to 59 percent of smart TV owners.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He 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. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

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