Smart TVs make up roughly half of the market. Streaming boxes are also popular, with Roku leading ahead of Chromecast. Apple TV is a distant fourth, according to a study by eMarketer.
”A sharp upward path”
The market for streaming TV devices “continues on a sharp upward path,” said eMarketer, adding that the US market will once again see double-digit growth this year.
The study predicts that 168.1 million people in the US will use a connected TV device this year, with Smart TVs serving 81.2 million of those (30.8% increase over 2016).
- "Essentially, more people are buying smart TVs than previously anticipated, which holds back demand for third-party connectivity devices," said Paul Verna, principal video analyst at eMarketer.
There is overlap, the report notes, with many households using more than one streaming device. Many households have added streaming boxes, with Roku predicted to race past Chromecast to lead the pack in 2017. Fire TV will rank third in 2017 and Apple TV a distant fourth, the report claimed.
- "As the only major market participant not affiliated with a content or TV device platform, Roku has used its neutrality to strike deals with a wide range of partners, including smart TV makers, OTT service providers and social media companies," said Paul Verna, principal video analyst at eMarketer.
The methodology is a little unclear. It should be noted that Roku’s TV platform and Chromecast are available both integrated into Smart TVs and as standalone devices. Amazon has also started to license the FireTV platform to Smart TV makers. It is not clear if all versions of Apple TV are included either.
The company predicts that Apple TV “will continue to fall further behind its rivals in the coming years. As competitors add between 20 million and 30 million users by the end of 2021, Apple TV will add less than 4 million”.
- "Apple TV has been held back by the absence of a compelling content offering, a lack of support for increasingly popular Amazon video content and a much higher price bracket than its competitors," Paul Verna said. "Apple TV devices currently start at $150, whereas Google, Amazon and Roku all sell streaming sticks that are priced well below $40."
Streaming boxes based on Android TV, such as Nvidia Shield and Xiaomi Mi Box, were not highlighted in the study, likely because of tepid sales. The report made no mention of game consoles, which are frequently used for streaming video, either.