The percentages for streaming device sales has changed dramatically in one year. Roku ‘s sales figures dropped by 20% and the Google Chromecast has knocked Apple TV of the second place perch that it had occupied with little to no innovation over the past 3 years. The hard numbers according to a recent study by Parks and Associates indicate that Roku accounted for 29% of sales in the streaming market which is enough to claim a majority over the other three major competitors, Google’s Chromecast, Apple TV and the Amazon Fire TV. But the control has dipped significantly from 2013 when Roku accounted for 49% of the streaming device
market. Regardless of the results of a survey of 10,000 people what is the best streaming device for you? Are you an Amazon Prime member, does everyone in your home live in the Apple Universe, do you hate wires? How you answer those sorts of questions can make a big difference in which streaming device would work best for you or the family.
All Vs Nothing
With 20 percent of the market now, the Google Chromecast is a solid No 2. Even as some studies have shown use of the device in decline it’s bargain price has driven many consumers to at least give it a look. Google’s streaming stick though is a stark contrast to Roku. Roku has native app while Chromecast depends completely on a
source device like a phone table or computer, The Roku has a standard on screen interface and Controller while the Chromecast uses media devices to launch and fling media. It’s as though there are two completely different audiences.
Amazon making quick impact
While it is only fourth with 10% of the market it is fair to point out that the Fire TV box debuted in April. This means that the report which reflected the market in the third quarter of 2014 only had a few months to measure the device by and certainly did not include the new Fire TV Stick. It should come as no surprise that the Fire TV has gotten off to a fast start. The Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are helped by the overall popularity of the Amazon ecosystem as well as its placement on the company’s website. The Fire TV burst on to the scene with
innovations that included the first voice responsive search in a set top box and a quad core processor and large game selection that wowed many in the media. Though limited in its app selection the box and now stick offer enough content to merit a look and make a great companion to anyone who already pays for Amazon Prime. It is also growing in popularity with people who like the Media Center Program XBMC. Its interactivity with the Kindle Fire HDX and beyond is a lot of fun and includes second screen and mirroring functionality
The Apple TV which is in its third generation still pulled in 17 percent of the market. And despite its age relative to the other devices on the market it still packs a punch. The device offers each of the most popular streaming services that its competitors do as well as access to the iTunes store for the latest movies and television shows. The
Apple TV is also the only major streaming device that offers FXX. Most importantly the box offers those who have Apple products the most seamless mirroring in the industry as well as the often imitated but never duplicated AirPlay. The only thing it doesn’t have going for it is the media buzz that comes with a new product launch. In fact Apple TV is hardly mentioned when a new product debuts. If Apple where to launch a quad core device at CES the whole game could change. Throw in games and a controller and app store and say exclusive access to CBS All Access and a controller app for their phones and tablets and Apple will be in the game again. The company though seems to have lost site of the living room just at the time that it is becoming the focus.