Worldwide sales of Smart TVs, which represent a segment of the connected TV market, reached 157 million units last year, according to Strategy Analytics. More than one in five Smart TVs sold run on Samsung’s Tizen OS.
Market share of Smart TV platforms
Sales of Smart TVs represented 67% of all TVs sold last year. A total of 157 million Smart TVs with Android, Tizen, webOS, RokuOS or FireTV were sold.
- “Smart TVs have come a long way since the early part of the decade. Clunky web browsers have given way to sophisticated streaming platforms and intelligent content recommendation engines,” said David Mercer, Principal Analyst, Strategy Analytics.
More than one in five Smart TVs sold globally run on Samsung’s Tizen operating system while one in ten run on Google’s Android TV. 4% run on Roku but “its stronghold is in North America where nearly one in every four smart TVs sold last year was powered by Roku”, the report said.
Forks of the Android system based on AOSP (Android Open Source Project) without access to the Google Play Store also represent a sizeable portion of the market but mainly in China where local TV makers use AOSP in TVs.
Strategy Analytics’ data covers Smart TVs sold - not share of usage. Some buyers do not connect Smart TVs to the internet, opting instead to use an external solution such as Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, FireTV or a game console for their streaming needs. Streaming boxes are not included in Strategy Analytics’ study.
Another analyst company, Conviva, is measuring usage (defined as viewing hours) across all TV platforms worldwide and is claiming that Tizen commands only 1% of viewing hours on TVs, with webOS and Android TV being lumped in with “others”.
TV platform consolidation
Strategy Analytics' David Mercer added that the Smart TV market is showing signs of consolidation after having been plagued by fragmentation over the years.
- “Operating system fragmentation has plagued the market over the years but there are signs that the industry is beginning to consolidate around a handful of platforms. Tizen remains the single largest Smart TV OS globally by sales followed by LG’s WebOS. However, Google’s Android TV and Roku TV in North America have made strong gains in recent years by building on their partnerships with second and third tier TV makers.”
LG, Samsung, and Panasonic continue to focus on their respective proprietary platforms, while Amazon, Google and Roku are trying to persuade TV makers to build their operating systems into TV sets. Meanwhile, Apple keeps its tvOS exclusive to the Apple TV box but is planning to launch its ’TV’ app across various Smart TV platforms later this year.
- ”Despite the wafer thin hardware margins on offer, the TV display remains a strategic priority for many technology companies due to the size of the audience that it continues to draw and with that the opportunity to sell advertising space on Smart TV user interfaces and generate new revenues via over the top content services. Control over the Smart TV operating system is therefore of critical importance as it is through this software layer that companies can extract the valuable user data that drives targeted ad revenues. It is for this reason that Google, Roku and Amazon are battling to persuade TV makers to build their TV software platforms into their sets rather than go through the expensive and time consuming process of building and maintaining their own operating systems,” said David Watkins.